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2012 Summer - Can Australia become the food bowl of Asia?

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Farm Policy Journal - Vol 9 No 4 2012 Summer - Full Journal - Can Australia become the food bowl of Asia?

Australian Farm Institute (2012), Can Australia become the food bowl of Asia?, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4 - Summer 2012, Surry Hills, Australia 
ISSN 1449–2210 (Print)
ISSN 1449–8812 (Web)


FPJ0904C - Ball - Whole of Value Chain Scenario for Asia-Pacific Food Leadership

Ball, G (2012), Whole of Value Chain Scenario for Asia-Pacific Food Leadership, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 1-9, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 


The rise of the Asian consumer presents a unique opportunity for Australian agriculture to secure its future and for the Australian food industry, already Australia’s largest manufacturing industry, to be a much more important and integrated contributor to the wealth of Australia; by gaining regional food leadership through a whole of value chain approach. Population growth to the middle of this century will increase world demand for food, while rising incomes in the Asian region will increase demand for high protein foods such as beef and dairy products. Despite numerous efforts to increase value added, most Australian food exports are commodities processed to the minimum level necessary for stability and transport, with supply chains fragmented and dominated by overseas interests. Changing world trade and consumption patterns make this ‘hands off’ approach to value chain management an unacceptably high risk, potentially leaving Australian producers in catch up mode. The rapid growth of Asian markets, especially Indonesia, and the rising Asian middle class creates large consumer markets that are close to Australia. This paper proposes that large-scale market and consumer-led exports of packaged consumer foods and customised ingredients, representing a significant proportion of the increased production from Australia’s most competitive industries (wheat, beef and dairy), will provide the best path for agriculture to maximise economic growth for the nation. To realise these opportunities, industry bodies, companies and academia supported by government must engage in critical leadership roles. Government must encourage the research to attain market insight and the identification of realistic paths to market in order to create a tangible vision for the industry and to encourage participation by Australia’s larger companies. This paper outlines key criteria and gives concrete examples to illustrate the opportunity. For example, based on Australia’s academic capability in nutrition, Australia could take leadership in understanding the region’s nutrition and diet needs, thereby providing the basis for value added foods. This ‘scenario’ approach helps identify the important supply chain and productivity challenges and to provide a basis for planning.


FPJ0904D - Perrett - Tackling the ‘Wicked Problem’ of Food Security: Challenges and Opportunities for Australian Agriculture

Perrett, E (2012), Tackling the ‘Wicked Problem’ of Food Security: Challenges and Opportunities for Australian Agriculture, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 11-19, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 


The next 15 years will present significant challenges and opportunities for Australian agriculture. Food security is a growing global concern that will have direct impacts on the lives of hundreds of millions, particularly in Asia. Food security will also necessarily impact on the livelihoods of Australian farmers. Whether Australia is able to capture the opportunities or not depends on the ability to address key challenges, both biophysical (including water, energy and phosphorous and climate) as well as institutional and policy challenges.

This essay suggests that viewing food security as a ‘wicked problem’ is a positive step in acknowledging and accepting these challenges. Further, it encourages the emergence of new and innovative ways to tackle these problems. It is suggested that while Australia may not be able to become the ‘food bowl’ of Asia, the knowledge and experience of Australian agriculture puts the industry in a position to help lead the changes required. However, this will only be achieved through coordinated and systematic policies and actions underscored by leadership from governments.


FPJ0904E - Anderson & Strutt - Agriculture and Food Security in Asia by 2030

Anderson, K, Strutt, A (2012), Agriculture and Food Security in Asia by 2030, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 21-33, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 


Rapid trade-led economic growth in emerging economies has been shifting the global economic and industrial centres of gravity away from the north Atlantic, raising the importance of Asia in world trade but also altering the commodity composition of trade by Asia and other regions. The industrial boom that began with Japan in the 1950s and Korea and Taiwan from the late 1960s has spread to the much more populous ASEAN region, China and India. Meanwhile, there have been agricultural export booms in some other emerging economies, most notably Brazil. This paper examines how those economies’ growth and associated structural changes are altering the world’s agricultural markets in particular and thereby food security. It does so retrospectively and by projecting a model of the world economy which compares alternative growth strategies and trade policy scenarios through to 2030. Projected impacts on global agricultural trade are considered, followed by effects on agricultural self-sufficiency and real food consumption per capita. The paper concludes by drawing implications for policies that can address more efficiently concerns about national and global food security and rural-urban income disparity than the trade policy measures used by earlier-industrialising Northeast Asia and Western Europe.


FPJ0904F - Dyck, Woolverton & Rangkuti - Indonesia’s Modern Food Retail Sector

Dyck, J, Woolverton, AE, Rangkuti, FY (2012), Indonesia’s Modern Food Retail Sector, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 35-47, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 


Indonesia’s food market has changed in response to a changing and growing economy. This paper examines changes in the food consumption pattern and measures the growth of modern food retail chains, of packaged food purchases, and of food imports in the world’s fourth-most-populous country. The evidence suggests that Indonesians are moving toward modern global purchasing and consumption patterns, but more slowly than in some comparable countries. Barriers to foreign and domestic commerce, affecting the development of modern food retail supply chains, are important constraints on food market change in Indonesia. Further change in Indonesia’s retail food sector will help determine future growth in imports, including from the United States.


FPJ0904G - Connolly, McLoughlin, Bourne, Shelman & Bradley - Towards a Branded Food Economy in China – Industry Speaks

Connolly, A, McLoughlin, D, Bourne, S, Shelman, M, Bradley, F (2012), Towards a Branded Food Economy in China – Industry Speaks, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 49-55, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 


The Chinese economy has achieved extraordinary levels of economic growth and prosperity over the past 30 years. This has evolved into a desire for greater quantities, quality and variety of food products both from its newly enriched citizens and political leaders. These changes have affected the rest of the world, most notably in the demand for the commodity products needed to feed an expanding agricultural industry and its citizens. This paper discusses the six forces which are currently shaping the food industry: an expanding middle class; concerns for food security, safety and quality; the integration and consolidation of industry supply chains; the simultaneous complexity and simplicity of Chinese culture. These forces will shape food production and consumption; the emergence of a Chinese consumer market, the emergence of food retailing and we conclude a branded food economy.


FPJ0904H - Nguyen - Australia’s Role in the Asian Century: The Food Bowl of a Growing Region?

Nguyen, D (2012), Australia’s Role in the Asian Century: The Food Bowl of a Growing Region?, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 57-66, Summer, Surry Hills, Australia. 

This essay examines the potential of Australian agriculture to meet the growing food demand from Asia. In doing so, this paper analyses the drivers of demand from the Asian region, where opportunities are identified for specific agricultural industries. Australia’s current potential is examined, exploring innovation in agricultural productivity as well as assessing climate change’s impact on farm production. Finally, this paper provides several policy recommendations to ensure that Australian agriculture is well placed to take advantage of future opportunities. This paper finds that improvements to agricultural productivity must be a priority of future policy agendas. Ensuring productivity growth is vital to the industry’s sustained international competitiveness as well as providing a buffer against long-term issues such as climate change. The factors underlying productivity growth must also be addressed including the continuation in world-class levels of agricultural research and development, and developing the next generation of the agricultural labour force.


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