The ongoing drought on the eastern seaboard reminds Australians that food security is a foundation of the national way of life, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Mr Joel Fitzgibbon said today.
Mr Fitzgibbon said World Food Day was an important reminder of the connection between agriculture and our food systems, and that we must build a resilient agriculture sector.
“World Food Day gives us pause to think about our food systems, something many people take for-granted in wealthy nations, but which rises to prominence when we’re hit with events such as drought and floods.”
Mr Fitzgibbon said he was concerned with data from Foodbank’s Hunger Report 2019, which showed that one in five Australians (21%) have experienced food insecurity in the last 12 months, and that children make up 22 per cent of food-insecure Australians.
“We need to ensure that everyone can afford food in our society – that’s a fundamental responsibility. We also need to secure our food supply with thriving agriculture and fisheries sectors.
“The east coast drought is hitting crops and orchards, and farmers are selling-off crucial breeding stock as they struggle to stay viable,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. “Food security is now a real issue as we look to a long summer. If we are not sufficiently alert to the challenges of drought we could become more dependent on imports for our food supplies.”
He said World Food Day was a timely reminder that town and country were inextricably linked. “Just because you live in a city, doesn’t mean you’re immune to the drought. We’re all in this together.”