Talking 2030: Growing agriculture into a $100 billion industry

Talking 2030: Growing Australia's agriculture industry

The ‘Talking 2030’ discussion paper was released on 23 March 2018 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In this discussion paper, we consolidate expert industry opinion on how to accelerate the growth of Australian agriculture through to 2030.

Man harvesting tomatoes in a greenhouse

The world is changing rapidly on the back of the fourth industrial revolution and food production is changing in line with this new world. KPMG in collaboration with the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), and supported by Telstra has developed a discussion paper that aims to consolidate expert industry opinion on how to accelerate the growth of Australian agriculture to achieve the NFF’s vision of $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030.

The paper is designed to ensure that the key emerging issues and trends in the agriculture and food sector are contemplated by NFF stakeholders as they develop the policy roadmap for 2030.

The insights in the paper are presented through the lens of these key themes:

  • Understanding our future customer
  • Supercharging our supply chain
  • Growing sustainably
  • Unlocking new technology
  • Attracting people and capital
  • Industry leadership and coordination

Each theme features a summary of key insights and findings, followed by a series of short contributions from leading industry experts.

“We have partnered with KPMG to develop and co-author the discussion paper Talking 2030 covering the emerging trends and bold ideas to accelerate the growth of Australian agriculture to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030. The KPMG agribusiness-team involved in this project demonstrated passion for the future of the industry, a strong expertise and work ethic through their professionalism and drive to engage with a wide range of industry experts. They have been reliable, resourceful and developed qualitative relationships with stakeholders. Feedback from farming and agribusiness communities on Talking 2030 is very positive. The paper is a great outcome and a strategic input to our national roadshow to engage hundreds of industry leaders in a discussion about the industry's vision as we develop the policy roadmap for 2030”

– Fiona Simson
President of the National Farmers’ Federation

Understanding and servicing our future customer

  • By 2030, Australia should have preferential trade deals in place with Asia’s five largest economies.
  • Consumers are rapidly embracing non-traditional crops, based on new cultural and wellbeing trends.
  • While forecasts for meat demand remain strong, wealthy countries are taking steps to reduce per capita consumption. This is coupled with a rise in meat alternatives.
  • Ethical, environmental and nutritional factors are increasingly driving consumer behaviour.
  • Australia has a trusted global brand, but this must be maintained and validated.
  • Our industry traceability systems will need to keep pace with customer expectations.
  • Consumers in our export markets are embracing e-commerce for food.
  • Chinese consumers are using buyers’ agents to source trusted Australian products.
  • Australia must continue to improve market access – particularly in Asian growth markets.
  • Technology may help overcome non-tariff barriers which impede trade.

Supercharging our supply chain

  • Reaping the benefits of the Inland Rail will require ancillary investment in rail sidings, intermodal freight facilities and supply depots.
  • By 2025, Australia must become a leader in digital platforms (e.g. blockchain) that enable seamless global transacting for food and fibre, and provide real-time supply chain monitoring and validation.
  • By 2030, all major food producing regions in Australia should have a borderless fresh food precinct – capable of air-freighting food directly to key markets.
  • Australia must explore and embrace contracting models in which farmers are not ‘price takers’ and are better able to manage risk.

Growing sustainably

  • Industry should consider adopting a target and supporting strategy to be carbon neutral by 2050.
  • The Murray Darling Basin plan must be implemented in full, and spell an end to water politics.
  • Australia should embrace IoT technology to monitor and measure irrigation water use to ensure community confidence.
  • A bipartisan approach to climate and energy policy is required to address climate change while facilitating investment in generation.
  • Australia should develop national best practice planning guidelines for peri-urban agriculture which defend the right to farm.
  • Government policy should support farmers in developing a mix of energy options on their farms including renewables, battery storage and connectivity to the grid.
  • Industry should explore a market-based approach to biodiversity management which rewards farmers for landscape services.

Unlocking new technology

  • Australia’s Research & Development Corporation model is an important asset which must be maintained. However, RDCs must continue to embrace new ways of partnering with the private sector on commercialisation.
  • Tax and other policy settings must encourage the innovation ecosystem in Australia to facilitate development and adoption of new tools and techniques.
  • By 2030, every farm should be connected to the Internet of Things using either traditional or emerging networks.
  • Industry should start exploring the impact on supply chain costs, services and stranded assets of a move from internal combustion to electric engines (on and off road).
  • Governments and relevant private sector providers must announce clear strategies to co-invest into the array of technologies and physical projects required to facilitate electric and autonomous vehicles.
  • Australia should overcome the digital divide by ensuring the digital research and education sector is linked directly to the agriculture and food supply chain sectors.
  • The farm sector must develop codes governing the management of industry data.
  • Industry must be increasingly educated and aware of the importance of cybersecurity.
  • Australia must take a science-based approach to ‘New Breeding Techniques’, which allows us to keep pace with global competitors.
  • Intellectual property rules relating to genetics and breeding need to ensure appropriate access to new varieties.

Attracting people and capital

  • The Australia farm sector must publicly commit to ethical labour practices, coupled with greater oversight.
  • A dedicated agricultural visa should be designed to support people coming to Australia for employment in agriculture.
  • Industry must explore ways to make farm businesses more ‘investment ready’ – including through education and extension programs.
  • Australia’s stance on foreign investment must not place undue barriers on foreign capital.
  • New commercial arrangements such as long-term contracts; insurance and leasing or equity models must be explored to make investment in agriculture more attractive – including to superannuation funds.
  • Successful succession planning models will play a critical role in encouraging new participants to replace our ageing farming population.
  • Rural services must underpin the attractiveness of living in rural communities. All levels of Government should develop master plans that ensure that by 2030 all regions of Australia have access to the best level of communications, health, education and child care services.
  • Telecommunications and associated technologies provide an exciting new platforms to deliver services to rural communities, but infrastructure must keep pace with demand.

KPMG Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate, live and gather as employees, and recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

©2022 KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organisation.

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