In the news

With foreign investment in agriculture still on the national agenda the Institute provided comment for articles on the topic, particularly in relation to the potential sale of Cubbie Station. ‘Critics making hay on foreign farm ownership,’ by Craig Emerson (11/8/2012) and, ‘Barnaby Joyce digs in on Cubbie as Coalition fractures over foreign deals,’ by David Crowe (5/9/12), both featured in The Australian and, ‘Cubbie sale no concern: AFI,’ by Colin Bettles in the Stock Journal (15/9/12).

Following the Federal Government’s recent announcement linking the Australian and European carbon markets, the Carbon Farming Initiative has also garnered a large amount of media interest. The Institute was sought for comment for the stories, ‘Changes challenge carbon farmers,’ by Sue Neales in The Australian (1/9/12), ‘Big risks in CFI: Keogh,’ by Gregor Heard (19/8/12) and, ‘Thumbs down to Carbon Farming Initiative,’ by Jenny Bartlett (4/10/12) in the Farm Weekly, and a WA Country Hour podcast (29/8/12). Anna Vidot in the ABC Rural article,‘Mixed news for farmers under Europe carbon deal,’ on (29/08/12) quoted the Institute:

But... the deal is bad news for farmers hoping to make money out of the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.

‘Those projects’ revenue streams now look decidedly less certain and certainly lower. Up until now, of course, you could have budgeted for at least $15 per tonne carbon [floor] price into the future and potentially higher longer-term. That is less certain now.’

Following ongoing controversy about the humane treatment of livestock, Sue Neales’ The Australian article, ‘Farmers may have to submit to surveillance to keep Coles contracts,’(12/8/12) reported:

Coles head of policy and quality... suggested farmers might have to consider having permanent cameras running so retailers could assure customers that their food carried a guarantee of humane animal treatment from paddock to plate...
Mick Keogh said the Coles proposal lacked context, and appeared to be a cynical appeal to well-heeled consumers.

Mr Keogh asked how the purported concern for their customers matched Coles’s recent ratcheting up of billion-dollar imports of cheaper frozen vegetables and processed foods from overseas without asking for any similar supply chain guarantees.

Out and about

Recently the Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, has spoken at:

  • 2012 Australian Prawn Farmers Association (APFA) and Australian Barramundi Farmers Association (ABFA) Conference, Palm Cove, Queensland
  • Ebor Beef Carbon Tax Forum, Armidale, NSW
  • Deakin University – Centre for Rural Regional Law and Justice Carbon Trading Forum, video simulcast
  • South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board Carbon Farming Forum, Murray Bridge, South Australia
  • Woolworths Young Farmers Training Workshop, Bella Vista, NSW
  • 2012 AgForce State Conference, Charleville, Queensland
  • Standing Council on Primary Industries Chief Executives Group
  • Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Inc Carbon Farming Initiative Workshops, Hyden, Dalwallinu, Merredin and Bencubbin, Western Australia
  • GRASS Merinos Annual Field Day, Gulargambone, NSW
  • The University of Queensland Carbon Tax Workshop, Brisbane
  • Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology: Soil Carbon and the Carbon Farming Initiative, Melbourne

Images: Clare Bellfield, Nicolas Boullosa, Catawba County, certified_su, CSIRO, Deniliquin Newspapers, Jon Doig, DSE Vic, Europa, Mick Keogh, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Ord Irrigation, Perfection Fresh, Gaétane Potard, David Shankbone, Secret Tenerif, Wonderlane, USDA

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