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Australia’s food security not in question

Media Release 17 April 2020

The latest report by Australia’s Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Science (ABARES) has confirmed Australia has one of the most secure food supplies in the world and is not at risk because of COVID-19.

Australia ranks in the top 10% of countries under the Global Food Security Index defined by the World Food Summit. The index measures 34 criteria covering affordability, availability, quality and safety.

“Australia will always have enough food. We produce far more food than we consume. COVID-19 does not change that,” Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said.

“We remain a net exporter of food. We export 70 per cent of our agricultural production.

“In terms of specific commodities €“ that’s 76 per cent of our beef and veal, 71 per cent of our wheat and 41 per cent of our dairy products being exported.

“A surge in demand had an impact on the availability of some of our favourite products on supermarket shelves. Shoppers were stockpiling and supply chains had to adjust.

“This is not an indication of food shortages.

“I’m glad to see the disruption is abating and ABARES report leaves no room for alarm.

“Ensuring Australia’s food security is one of the government’s top priorities. It’s a key part of $320 billion of measures to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

“Amid crucial measures to curb the spread of this virus, we’ve made sure getting food on the table remains an essential service

“We’ve implemented strategies that include maintaining agriculture’s service and supply lines, extending work visas, and providing air freight support.

“We’ll continue working with the agricultural sector to carry on with the job of feeding Australia.

“Even through drought and bushfires, the value of Australia’s agriculture continues to grow because of our farming expertise and resilience.