Home' Smart Farmer : Dec 2014 - Jan 2015 Contents SmartFarmer • December 2014/January 2015
Abby White, Swan Hill Chemical, with
Melanie Turner, Melpat International.
Scott McKenzie with Anthony Wachtel, Century
Mark Webber with Deanna Hutchins, Laragon.
Tony Ringeisen, Exact Harvesting
Dean Izzard with Zadco general manager Asma
Chloe Shaw with Michael Ward, Jubilee Almonds.
Aussie almonds a
By ASHLEY WALMSLEY
AS THE second largest global producer of
almonds, Australia is poised to pounce
on further trade opportunities.
This was one of the messages delivered at the
16th Australian Almond Conference at Glenelg
in October where some 350 delegates attended.
This year's speakers focused on the entire
supply chain, from a domestic and interna-
Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell had posi-
tive news on Australian almonds.
"In June I was in India and met with a lot
of the importers of almonds and they were
very happy with what they were getting from
Australia," he said.
"They said the different seasons in California
and Australia allowed them to get good fresh
almonds pretty much all year round."
His comments on the industry's export
success were echoed by the Almond Board
of Australia's market development manager
Joseph Ebbage in his address.
He said 75 per cent of the Australian crop
was exported, making it a player on the world
Select Harvests says an estimated $5.1 billion
has been put on the global market for almonds.
About 83pc of global supply comes from the
US, most of which is grown in California.
India, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, New
Zealand and the Middle East are all key
F20 sets priorities for food security
By ROBBIE DAVIS, CEO, POTATOES SA
FOOD security, peak inputs and increasing
climate challenges were on the agenda when
agribusiness-lender Rabobank convened the
inaugural Rabobank F20 (Food) Summit last
month, ahead of the G20 leaders summit in
The F20 was a gathering of industry leaders,
government officials from various countries, glo-
bal institutions involved in the food value chain,
academics from leading agricultural institutions,
emerging talents and, most importantly, leading
farmers representing 20 countries across six
It was held in Sydney, and I was privileged to
be one of the 660 participants of whom 70 per
cent were food producers.
Global debate about food challenge tends to
overlook what farmers think but this was not the
case at this event, which aimed to find solutions
and set a clear agenda for decision makers to
The program featured a range of international
keynote speakers from government and industry,
inspiring rural entrepreneurs, insights from the
Rabobank Global Farmers Master Class and the
latest information on the future of farming.
The Master Class brought 33 top overseas
farmers and seven equivalent Australian
producers together in Vic and NSW to share
information and ideas on farming's future. Their
tour was based on the theme 'the rise of the
Introduced by Netherland-based Rabobank
Group's executive board member, Berry Marttin,
the Australian F20 Summit, titled Global food
security: shared responsibility, collective solu-
tions, discussed the key themes of increasing
food production, improving access to food,
encouraging balanced nutrition, and strengthen-
ing stability in markets and production chains.
Global population is expected to rise from
seven billion to more than 9b by 2050.
Not only will there be many more mouths to
feed, but people are also living longer, placing
incredible strain on food production systems and
The farming sector needs to produce more
food, with fewer resources, but it requires good
supply chain incentives and community support
to sensibly meet these unprecedented demands.
Mr Marttin told the summit that the challenge
was far more complicated than just finding more
food to feed a planet, which each month adds
the equivalent of the entire population of Hong
He emphasised that 40pc of all the food pro-
duced was subsequently thrown away or wasted
in developed economies such as Australia, the US
or in Europe, or spoiled on-farm or in transit in
countries which lack adequate infrastructure to
handle it properly.
It was determined that access to knowledge,
sustainable financial support, succession plan-
ning, innovation and industry leadership would
be critical factors in enabling farmers to deliver
food security solutions.
Former National Farmers' Federation president
and now chair of Nufarm and Australian
Agricultural Company Don McGauchie said
governments also had to wake up to the cost
of an alarming decline in public spending on
As a participant, I was able to actively contrib-
ute to the prioritisation of solutions to the global
food security challenge and the key emergent
themes which will form the basis of a submission
to the G20 Agricultural Working Group, leading
to continued dialogue heading into the next G20
Leaders Summit in Turkey.
I have taken away many things from this
event but the following statement, in particular,
remains with me: 'you need a doctor once a year,
but you need a farmer three times a day'.
The Master Class brought 33
top overseas farmers and
seven equivalent Australian
producers together in Vic and
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