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COVID-19 impact on Australian agriculture

Sally Beech - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It's near impossible to disengage from the COVID-19 discussion. Significant impacts are being felt on global economies and disruptions to day-to-day life extend beyond the inexplicable toilet paper panic. Australian agriculture is a highly globalised industry, depending on export markets to sell our produce and importing key inputs such as chemicals and fertilisers from overseas countries. So, what will be the likely impact on the industry from this pandemic?   View the rest of the post here

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Are you confident of your social licence?

Richard Heath - Thursday, October 04, 2018
A social licence is easier to define once lost than when it is in place. The live export industry is very familiar with the disruptive consequences of losing the social licence to operate, and understanding social licence been critical for doing business in the forestry sector for decades. Social licence is currently one of the most talked-about issues in global agriculture, as was apparent at the recent Nuffield Australia National Conference, yet it remains an enigma to many in the Australian sector. View the rest of the post here
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An offer from farmers to help Michelle Bridges.

Bill Farmer - Monday, October 24, 2016
Dear Michelle, you might recall I wrote to you back in 2014 in response to some comments you made about farmers who were being secretly filmed as they went about their daily work on pig and poultry farms. At that time the farmers were complaining about animal welfare activists secretly breaking into farms and planting video surveillance equipment in the hope of obtaining footage of farmers mistreating their animals.  View the rest of the post here
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Drumsticks replacing chops but Australians still love their meat.

- Thursday, January 21, 2016

All the controversy over the Australia day advertisement promoting lamb has highlighted the reported increase of vegetarianism in Australia, which has been strongly promoted by animal welfare groups and others as a more ethical and healthy diet. Irrespective of the health and animal welfare merits of different diets, available statistics indicate that Australians are still pretty keen on meat, although have changed the type of meat they are consuming. View the rest of the post here

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Are annual live cattle quotas for Indonesia enough?

- Thursday, December 10, 2015

Food Security and political stability have always walked hand in hand. Every political regime lives by this fact. From Marie Antoinette to Mao, the ironclad rule for a successful political regime has always been to ensure that the masses have adequate food. Rarely is an ideological sentiment so unifying, nor a violation of ethics so egregious that its revolutionary clout exceeds that of a steep rise in grain prices.  View the rest of the post here

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Is a meat-free diet morally superior?

- Tuesday, October 20, 2015

There is an evangelical fervour starting to emerge in debates about farm animal welfare and meat-free diets. The argument that a diet that is free of meat is somehow morally superior is frequently used by opponents of livestock farming, but exactly why this would be the case is not supported by either evidence or logic. View the rest of the post here

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Free range definition sets a dangerous precedent for agriculture

- Thursday, October 08, 2015

The move by the Australian Government Treasury and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to define what constitutes 'free-range' egg production sets a dangerous precedent for Australian agriculture, but also provides the sector with a wake-up call in relation to the need for industry leadership and unity. View the rest of the post here

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Agriculture has the technology, but will consumers swallow it?

- Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The growth opportunities for Australian agriculture lie in expanding resource use via the development of northern Australia, and increasing output from existing resource use through productivity growth. While these two options are perhaps equally important, agricultural productivity growth is essential in order to maintain international competitiveness irrespective of what happens in northern Australia, but also faces a major stumbling block due to the purported attitudes of consumers. View the rest of the post here

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Making sense of sentience and animal welfare

- Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Opponents of livestock farming, and especially intensive livestock farming, advance a number of different arguments to support the notion that most forms of livestock farming should be opposed by anyone who is guided by ethics or morals. One frequently used argument is that farm animals are sentient beings with the ability to feel pain and to experience emotions, and that any form of livestock production system that either causes pain or imposes a change from 'natural'  animal behavior (having a negative emotional impact of the animal) therefore cannot be justified. View the rest of the post here

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Realities of animal welfare getting lost in personalities and emotion

- Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The four-page feature piece on Animals Australia CEO Lyn White in the Good Weekend supplement of the Fairfax weekend newspapers highlighted one of the major problems with debates on animal welfare in Australia. The focus on personalities and emotions diverts attention from objective information about real changes that are being made, and creates the risk that policy changes will be made that actually reduce animal welfare standards, especially for farm animals. View the rest of the post here

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