Education key for future food and fibre production

A Shorten Labor Government will secure the future of Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia (PIEFA).

For 10 Years PIEFA has been working with our schools to ensure our kids know where their food and fibre comes from, how it is produced and how important the sector is to our economy. The Foundation also alerts young Australians to the many career opportunities in the agriculture sector and its vision is for “An Australian Community that understands and values its primary industries sector.”

Speaking at Brisbane’s Rural Press Club today, Shadow Minister for Agriculture Joel Fitzgibbon pledged a Shorten Labor Government will reverse the Morrison Government’s decision to withdraw PIEFA’s funding.

“PIEFA is a not-for-profit organisation which leveraged the Government’s investment with private sector sponsorship funds. The Government’s contribution represents a smart and efficient investment in food and fibre education,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“A survey of school students in 2012 shows too few young Australians know where their food and fibre comes from. 

  • 74% of students believed cotton was an animal product
  • 25% of students thought yoghurt was a plant product
  • 45% of students did not identify bread, cheese or bananas as farmed
  • 40% of students believed farming damaged the environment
  • 50% of students did not think there was science in primary production
  • 55% of students did not think there was innovation or IT in primary

In the 2017/19 Year PIEFA, on behalf of the primary industries sector;

  • Engaged with nearly 20,000 teachers,
  • Attracted 23,659 unique users its websites
  • Facilitated 297,361 resource downloads for schools
  • Grew its school network to 1,050 primary and high schools around the country”

Whilst PIEFA has had some great success in recent years, there is still more to be done.

The funding announced today will assist PIEFA with its goal of engaging every school in Australia with a balanced, factual and relevant Food and Fibre education program.

“The Foundation has been building momentum in its efforts to improve food and fibre awareness and knowledge in our schools and must be allowed to continue its good work. 

“Our teachers stand ready to do the work, PIEFA must continue to provide the teaching tools.

“The $100,000 the Commonwealth has been contributing is a small cost for something so important. Labor will ensure the Foundation’s good work continues.”

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  • Tim Gentle
    commented 2019-02-07 20:27:29 +1100
    Brilliant! Great vision.