News and Media

This page showcases news items about the AFI’s work. Click the button below for a list of AFI media releases.

AFI in the news

Published 12 Oct 2021

KATH SULLIVAN & JANE NORMAN, ABC News, , 12 October 2021

As Richard Heath from the Australian Farm Institute explains, “by putting land clearing bans in place, those emissions that would have occurred by land clearing were able to be credited against our emissions target reduction, so it was a really easy way to avoid a whole heap of emissions [that] were assumed were going to happen … it went a very significant way to helping Australia meet its Kyoto targets”.

Published 16 Jul 2021

JAMES NASON, Beef Central, 16 July 2021

Professor Wood said he believes that for a more balanced and accurate guide on the future of the protein market in Australia people should refer to the Australian Farm Institute’s February 2020 publication “The changing landscape of protein production”.

“The AFI report is more balance and show the significant differences in the quality of proteins from various sources,” Prof Wood said.

Published 26 Aug 2021

NATALIE KOTSIOS, The Weekly Times. 26 August 2021

However, an AFI paper released this month by three leading Melbourne University ag sciences researchers found the cost of changing land management practices “generally far exceeds” net income from carbon credits.

“Because in large areas of Australia rainfall is limiting for plant growth, sustained increases in stored soil carbon … even under the most favourable land management, are difficult to achieve,” the report stated.

“Farmers should be aware that the exaggerated claims made by many carbon aggregators are not necessarily achievable.”

Published 17 Aug 2021

KARL GRUBER, Careers with STEM, 17 August 2021

The name given to this mingling of digital technology with traditional farming practices is Digital Agriculture (DA) and it’s having a huge impact. In 2016 the Australian Farm Institute found DA can increase farm productivity by up to 15%.

Published 3 Sep 2021

SHAN GOODWIN, North Queensland Register, 3 September 2021

Consumers could make informed choices regarding health properties from current food labels, according to the AFI.

“Rather than deception of meat-eating consumers causing a reduction of market share, the more real danger is that misleading or opaque product labelling reduces consumer trust in both the meat and alternative protein sectors,” the AFI submission concluded.

Published 21 Sep 2021

MICHAEL BURT, The Farmer, 21 September 2021

Research from the Australian Farm Institute shows that the demand for protein will be so great by 2050 that animal agriculture won’t be able to meet it alone, and alternative proteins will be complementary – rather than competitors – to traditional industries.

Published 12 Oct 2021


Richard Heath, the executive director of the Australian Farm Institute, said the land-clearing bans helped Australia meet its international climate obligations. “It was assumed that land clearing would continue at a rate it had previously,” Mr Heath said.

“By putting land-clearing bans in place, those emissions that would have occurred by land-clearing were able to be credited against our emissions target reduction. It was a really easy way to avoid a whole heap of emissions [that] were assumed were going to happen. It went a very significant way to helping Australia meet its Kyoto targets.”

MIKE FOLEY, Sydney Morning Herald,
11 August 2021

Executive director of the Australian Farm Institute think tank Richard Heath said it was common practice for farmers to launch into action on important issues before the full costs were delineated, despite Mr Joyce’s warning.

“Agriculture constantly deals with issues that cause loss, like new crop and animal diseases,” Mr Heath said. “Agriculture is constantly coming up with plans and investing in research and development because we know there will be losses.”

NOYON KUMAR, Binoraj. Com, 8 August 2021

Salah Sukariyeh, a professor of robotics at the University of Sydney, thinks that as shepherds age, their capacity decreases. Robots may be the appropriate solution in this case.

According to the Australian Farm Institute, the average age of farmers in the country is 52 years.

PHILIPPA ENGLAND, The Conversation,
2 July 2021

In 2020, the NFF engaged the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) to evaluate the literature on existing certification schemes and to gauge landholders’ views. The report identified myriad problems.

The AFI noted several issues surrounding data collection and reporting. Certification schemes are data-hungry: they require baseline data (information collected before a project starts), measurable outcomes and a way to monitor progress and verify results. But diminished public spending means such data are often not readily available.

NEIL LYON, Grain Central, 21 June 2021

Australian agriculture needs to develop a clear framework showcasing sustainability and decarbonisation credentials to investors and customers if it is to stay globally competitive.

That was a recurrent call from a number of speakers at the Australian Farm Institute’s ‘Agriculture and trade in disrupted economies’ conference in Toowoomba this week.

21 June 2021

“China had a big eye on demonstrating to trade aficionados in Geneva that they really were an open market-based economy. Australia was a convenient way, because we’re a small country, to make that point and I think it was effective.”

Speaking at an Australian Farm Institute conference, Mr Robb said the current economic sanctions China was using against Australia for “supposed geopolitical actions” should be viewed in the same scope.

ABC News, 21 June 2021

Rather than threaten rate hikes, however, Dr Lowe last week told a gathering in Toowoomba that the RBA and the banking regulator APRA had discussed other means of curbing the property boom.

“Because I don’t think it’s in the country’s interest to have an extended period where credit growth is running ahead of growth in our incomes, particularly given the high levels of debt,” he told the Australian Farm Institute.

19 June 2021

It is worth letting Lowe explain: “Many international investors are very focused on this issue and it’s particularly important for the agricultural sector because up to 70% of agricultural output in Australia gets exported – so you are relying on overseas markets, and increasingly overseas investors are asking about the carbon content of production, and that is a trend that is only going to continue.

“So agriculture has tremendous opportunities here, but we need to find ways to disclose to global investors and global customers the decarbonisation strategy and how successfully we are doing that. It is a really important issue and it’s going to become more important.”

SHANE WRIGHT, Sydney Morning Herald,
17 June 2021

Reserve Bank governor Phil Lowe has sounded a warning to the nation’s lenders to maintain borrowing standards given soaring house prices while dampening expectations of strong wages growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr Lowe, speaking to the Australian Farm Institute Conference in Toowoomba on Thursday, said the economy including the farm sector was enjoying a “V-shaped” recovery from the pandemic recession.

NEIL LYON, Grain Central, 18 June 2021

Addressing the Australian Farm Institute’s ‘Agriculture and trade in disrupted economies’ conference in Toowoomba this week, Dr Lowe said the agricultural sector had played a key role in driving the level of output in Australia above pre-pandemic levels.

“Not many other countries can say that. The bounce-back has been quicker and stronger than we expected,” he said.

MARION RAE, Perth Now, 17 June 2021

Australia is tackling the most complex Indo-Pacific environment since World War II, Trade Minister Dan Tehan told an Australian Farm Institute conference in Toowoomba on Thursday.

He reiterated Australia’s calls for a WTO dispute settlement process that works.

MARION RAE, The Western Australian,
17 June 2021

The economy is moving from recovery to expansion mode and this will bring challenges for regional areas lacking workers to farm, mine and build homes, the central bank warns.

The bounce-back has been quicker and stronger than expected, supported by a V-shaped recovery in farm output, Governor Philip Lowe told an Australian Farms Institute conference in Toowoomba on Thursday.

MATT COUGHLAN, The Northern Beaches Review, 17 June 2021

Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the region should stick with the established rules as China becomes more assertive.

“Without that it’s the global heavyweights that dictate the terms,” he told the Australian Farm Institute conference.

“That’s not in our best interests.”

PHILIP LOWE, Reserve Bank of Australia, 17 June 2021

Keynote Address at the Australian Farm Institute Conference: Toowoomba – 17 June 2021

As we all know, the past year has been an extremely challenging one in the life of our nation. But as a country we pulled together, and we have been up to the task. The results are evident in our health and economic outcomes, which are better than elsewhere in the world. It is important that we don’t lose sight of this.

SARAH MARTIN, The Guardian,
17 June 2021

The Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, says the bank is considering policy measures to rein in ballooning household debt if it becomes a risk to economic stability, but says it is not the bank’s job to target house prices.

In a speech to the Australian Farm Institute conference in Toowoomba on Thursday, Lowe also cast doubt on the government’s strategy for wage rises, saying even in areas where the labour market was tight, pay packets were not increasing.

NICK O'MALLEY, WA Today, 16 June 2021

As Mr Beshara put it in a recent speech to the Australian Farm Institute: “the UK has 32 native species of trees and shrubs full stop. Australia has 850 species of eucalypts alone”.

Mr Beshara argues Australia’s rich biodiversity confers upon us a special responsibility of stewardship, but by some measures Britain has greater protection standards.

JACQUELINE ROWARTH, Rural News, 1 June 2021

Using the same data and comparing it with a national database, the Australian Farm Institute (AFI) calculated that the opportunity cost of biological resilience was A$2.46 million over a decade – a quarter of a million Australian dollars a year.

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