AFI Forum

Welcome to the AFI Forum, showcasing what we’re up to now and what we’ve done before.

From the vault:

Published 24 Nov 2020

The AFI has been accelerating positive change by leading the farm policy discussion and promoting policy solutions that maximise the economic and social wellbeing of Australian farmers since 2004. As the policy landscape changes – now more than ever – we are making changes to help us ensure a viable…

Published 1 Aug 2018

The divide has long acted not just as a physical barrier between the thin strip of land to the east and the rest of the country, but also in a figurative sense has been a delineator between the city and the bush. Most of Australia’s agriculture occurs west of the…

Featured content:

Published 6 Mar 2018

So-called ‘clean meat’ is the latest darling of the stock market in the USA, with major investors putting their money into start-ups like Impossible Foods, Hampton Creek, and MosaMeat. Quite a few commentators and activists have claimed that these developments in alternative proteins signal the end of animal agriculture as…

Published 28 Feb 2018

A lot of feathers have been ruffled in the debate on egg farming. Definitions of ‘free range’ are disputed and reviewed, ‘happy’ eggs command market premiums, cage farmers are targeted by activists. All this is based on the understandable public assumption that chooks living outside cages are intrinsically happier than…

Published 19 Feb 2018

In a week that had us all reaching for the popcorn waiting to see what spectacular political calamity was going to unfold in the next 10 minutes, Australian agriculture bucked the trend with two significant announcements of unification and common purpose. First up was the announcement of a new peak…

Published 12 Feb 2018

The Government of Western Australia is currently running an ‘Inquiry into mechanisms for compensation for economic loss to farmers in Western Australia caused by contamination by genetically modified (GM) material’. The inquiry continues the discussion around how – or indeed whether – agricultural practices that use GM material, and those…

Published 1 Jan 2018

If the unconstrained implementation of digital technology could boost the value of Australian agriculture by 25% – a $20.3 billion increase from 2014-15 GVP – why is Australia not adopting agtech at a faster rate? As industry looks for ways to grow Australia’s agricultural production by 67 per cent to…

Published 23 Oct 2017

In the next few days the European Commission is scheduled to vote on whether to extend the registration of glyphosate, the active ingredient of the worlds most widely used weedkiller, Roundup. If an extension is not approved, it will essentially lead to the banning of glyphosate in Europe. Despite the…

Published 27 Jun 2017

The Australian Farm Institute “Harvesting the benefits of digital agriculture” conference held two weeks ago in Melbourne attracted a big crowd of Australian and international participants, which included government ministers, government agencies, agricultural researchers, farmers, technology specialists and potential ag-tech investors. The simple takeout message is that the future of…

Published 13 Jun 2017

It is hard to discuss digital agriculture without coming across questions about who is benefiting most from the data collected. These questions are leading to a strong focus on farmers “owning” their data. Leaving aside the issues around whether you can actually own data, some of the language that is…

Published 5 Jun 2017

Once again, farmers are the true innovators in the business world. If you have had even a passing look at the new world of technology companies and start-ups you would have seen lots of language about lean business models and agile technologies. This does not mean that you should be…

Published 23 Apr 2017

There has been a fair bit of discussion over recent months of moves by the Australian Government to relocate government departments to regional cities and away from the major capitals. Some have interpreted the Government’s actions as an exercise in “pork barrelling” specific electorates, presumably to curry political favour. Others…

Published 12 Mar 2017

Australian land managers have dramatically improved the state of the environment over the past decade, with native vegetation clearing rates dropping to almost zero, farms being replanted with trees, native plants and animal populations reinvigorated, pest animal populations controlled, water and wind erosion significantly reduced through better management practices, and…

Published 28 Feb 2017

In a recent speech, former head of Treasury Ken Henry once again raised the concept of decentralisation as a means of addressing some of the challenges facing Australia’s major cities – including congestion, high real estate prices and the struggle to provide adequate services and social support to the ever-expanding…

Published 13 Feb 2017

The release by ABARES of Australian Commodity Statistics in December each year provides an opportunity to look at some of the longer-term trends occurring in the Australian agriculture sector, and there is no doubt that the most recent batch of statistics released paints a very positive picture for most sub-sectors….

Published 30 Jan 2017

The Australian agriculture sector is almost entirely responsible for Australia meeting its international greenhouse emission commitments, with the sector being virtually the only economic sector to have reduced annual emissions since 1990, and also contributing more than 80% of the total emission reduction contracted under the Australian Government’s Emission Reduction…

Published 23 Jan 2017

Attempting to forecast how Australian agriculture will fare in 2017 is an exercise fraught with risk, but it’s probably fair to assume that for most involved in the sector, 2017 will not be as good as 2016. Very favourable seasonal conditions combined with high livestock prices meant that the gross…

Published 14 Nov 2016

The recent running of the Melbourne Cup provided an opportunity to compare the productivity gains by the thoroughbred racing industry and the Australian farm sector. By using improvements in the time of the winning horse as a proxy for productivity gains by the thoroughbred industry, and the recently published national…
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