Seminars and conferences are held throughout the year by the Australian Farm Institute, records and information on past events can be found on the following pages.
The Australian Farm Institute held its annual Agriculture Roundtable Conference on the 10th and 11th of November 2016, at the Pullman Brisbane King George Square. Sessions for the 2016 conference included: Dinner speaker: Roger Fletcher, Director, Fletcher International Exports; Breakfast speaker: Steve Marafiote, Managing Director, Sundrop Farms; Investment in Australian agriculture; The future of the agricultural service sector; Where to for free trade agreements. An economic outlook; The right to farm.
The topic for the 2016 John Ralph Essay Competition was: 'Farm environmental stewardship programs are just subsidies in disguise and should not be adopted in Australia.'
Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise Australian agriculture and make possible the next big leap in productivity. Across all agricultural commodities, digital technologies and applications are emerging that are disrupting production systems and supply chains, creating radically different business models, and enabling farmers and agribusiness to manage with levels of precision and insight that were previously unimaginable. The Digital Disruption in Agriculture conference provided the opportunity for a very detailed look at the possibilities being provided by digital technologies and posed questions about how to ensure that those possibilities can be realised.
The Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference has been held by the Australian Farm Institute every year for over 10 years. It brings together the most senior leaders of Australian agriculture and agribusiness to discuss issues of strategic importance to the future of the sector. Sessions included: The Basin Plan three years on; succeeding in premium markets; China and Australian agriculture; and rural telecommunications and digital infrastructure.
The topic for the 2015 John Ralph Essay Competition was: 'Australian agriculture should forget about the pursuit of productivity, and instead focus on premium markets.'
The Future Trade Opportunities for Australian Agriculture Conference provided industry participants and policy-makers with a clear understanding of the agricultural trade opportunities that are now becoming available.
Farm-animal welfare practices and policies in Australia have been under increasing scrutiny over recent years, and are currently the subject of considerable community and political debate. Australia has very high animal welfare standards, as well as internationally acknowledged scientists, and innovative and proactive industry leaders.
The Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference has been held by the Australian Farm Institute every year for over 10 years. It brings together the most senior leaders of Australian agriculture and agribusiness to discuss issues of strategic importance to the future of the sector. Sessions included: Australia’s agricultural trade performance and future prospects; competition policy – how can Australia find the right balance to optimise economic benefits?; digital agriculture and its implications for Australian farmers; and what are the new technologies or developments that are likely to deliver productivity gains for farmers in the next 10 years?
The topic for the 2014 John Ralph Essay Competition was: 'Does the Australian agricultural sector need a common national brand to promote its products in international and domestic markets?'
The future success of the Australian farm sector depends on the financial performance of the sector, and the sector’s ability to attract finance or investment funding for increasing productivity.
Sessions for the 2013 conference included: the globalisation of the Australian grains industry and what it means for Australian grain growers; the future of animal welfare policy in Australia and its implications for livestock industries; farmer representation and leadership in Australia; and the importance of a national ‘brand’ in international and domestic agricultural markets.
The topic for the 2013 John Ralph Essay Competition was: 'Do community perceptions of Australian agriculture really matter?'
The Australian Farm Institute convened a national conference bringing together farmers, agribusinesses, agricultural researchers, and public and private sector extension and advisory personnel to discuss this challenge, and develop an agreed common vision of an effective and efficient future Australian agricultural innovation system to improve the competitiveness and profitability of Australian agriculture.
The JRC topic for 2012 was: 'Is it feasible for Australia to become the food bowl of Asia, and if so, what policies or actions are required by industry and/or government to make this a reality over the next 15 years?'
The Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference brings together Australian agribusiness, policy and farm sector leaders, providing a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the strategic issues shaping the sector. Conference sessions included: managing carbon policy implications; changing community expectations of agriculture; are China and Asia the future for Australian agriculture?; the economic outlook for Australian agriculture; and do Australian competition laws protect consumers at the expense of Australian agriculture?
A major conference discussing future policies for Australian farm land with 18 speakers, 1 Field Trip, 6 sessions, and 5 interactive workshops. Some critical questions addressed included: Should productive farm land be protected from mining and urban encroachment to guarantee Australian food security? Is it inevitable that agricultural activities will be pushed away from big cities? Is it possible to solve the food versus energy challenge when mining and farming are competing for the same land?
Productivity growth rates have slowed in the Australian agricultural sector and there is growing pressure to increase productivity gain despite limits to access of land and water resources. AFI asked an expert panel to tackle the issue and pose realistic productivity growth targets over the next two decades, the most likely technological changes required to achieve productivity gain, and the barriers impeding development.
Entrants in the second year's competition were required to write an essay on the topic of: ‘Agriculture and energy, a growing challenge in the world and in Australia.'
The Australian Agriculture Roundtable Conference brings together Australian agribusiness, policy and farm sector leaders, providing a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the strategic issues shaping the sector.
Over recent years there has been a growing conflict between the desire of consumers to purchase more natural and wholesome foods that are perceived to be produced without negative environmental, social and animal welfare impacts, and the need for Australian farmers to apply new technologies to increase productivity and remain internationally competitive. How should the Australian agriculture sector respond to this challenge?
In 2010, the first year of the prize, the topic was ‘The role of Australia’s primary industries in buffering the Australian economy from external economic shocks.’
Over 110 leaders in Australian agriculture attended the Conference, which provided the opportunity to debate the strategic issues shaping the sector. Each year, conference sessions are structured around a number of themes, and in 2010 a ‘Great Debate’ was held on the topic of water policy development in Australia. The statement for debate was That there is too much focus on the environment in water planning decisions.
For the third year, the Australian Farm Institute delivered the latest information on international and domestic developments in climate change science and policies, affecting Australian agriculture. The only Conference offered in Australia to focus solely on the impact of climate change science and policies internationally on Australian agriculture, this event is essential for farmers, policy-makers and those involved in agribusiness.
The Conference covered topics such as institutional investment in Australian agriculture, water management, the future of the Australian food processing industry, and Australian agricultural research and development policies.
What are the implications of the Australian Government’s emissions trading White Paper for agricultural industries in Australia? How should farmers and agribusiness respond? What will be the impacts on the emissions trading scheme on farms and agribusinesses, and what changes will industry sectors need to make in preparation?
Speakers at the 2008 Annual Roundtable Conference included: The Honourable Tony Burke - Minister for Agriculture; Michael Batycki - General Manager Fresh Foods, Woolworths Limited; Kimberley Crewther - Climate Change Project Manager, Fonterra NZ; Don MacKay - Former CEO, Australian Agricultural Company; Felicity Robson - Corporate Marketing Manager, OneHarvest Group; and David Pearce - Executive Director, The Centre for International Economics.
The objective of the summit was to analyse the key issues associated with the implementation of the ETS, and to identify the opportunities and challenges that face the sector arising from an ETS.
The Conference provided leaders in Australian agriculture with an opportunity to consider and discuss the strategic issues that are likely to shape the future of Australian agriculture over the next decade.
The theme of the Australian Farm Institute's 2006 Strategic Roundtable Conference was ‘Future Agriculture’.
The 2005 Strategic Roundtable Conference was held with the objective of providing leaders in Australian agriculture with an opportunity to consider and discuss the strategic issues that are likely to shape the future of Australian agriculture over the next decade.
The inaugural Australian Farm Institute Strategic Roundtable Conference.