Churchill Fellow Peter Carter, a supply chain and digital trade specialist, has recently returned from his Fellowship across Singapore, Vietnam, the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Canada, and the USA. With new trade agreements in play, growing concerns over escalating food prices, and the rising cost of living, as well as farmer’s need to navigate complex processes to prove their sustainability credentials, Peter’s report sheds light on critical solutions for supply chains in Australia.
Peter’s report is timely, given the focus of Federal Government agencies on supply chain resilience, traceability and sustainability.
Peter said: “This is really important time for Australia. It’s critical that we build on our existing strong agricultural credentials and leverage global data standards for trade,”
Peter’s Churchill Fellowship focused on traceability, trust, and export market access, stressing the importance of enhanced supply chain management to achieve Australia’s ambitious $100 billion agricultural output goal by 2030, a cornerstone of the National Farmers’ Federation roadmap.
“We need to stay focused on practical solutions that benefit farmers and primary producers, using language that makes sense to industry,”
“As food prices continue to increase, consumers are more cost conscious than ever. They want to know more about the products that they’re buying and the consequences of their consumption decisions,” said Peter.
Adam Davey, CEO of the Winston Churchill Trust, says, “Peter’s report has far-reaching impacts for the benefit of all Australians. I urge all levels of governments interacting with Australia’s food supply chain to take hold of Peter’s learnings.”
Peter states, “Governments need to simplify their messages and clearly define benefits for primary producers, using language that business understands and use on a day-to-day basis.” He notes the risk of industry disengagement if public policy is out of step with real industry issues.
“One of the biggest hurdles faced by Australian farmers in both domestic and international markets is the complexity of regulations applicable to primary production. Farming is complex and farmers are subject to an array of local, state and federal regulations, laws and international rules,”
“For instance, consider agricultural chemical and veterinary product usage. We need to and can make compliance easier and better, reducing the cost of capturing quality information at the very beginning of the supply chain,”
“Australia excels in clean and green, ethical food production, including fast-growing organic farming. However, we must deliver a stronger brand-Australia promise supported by evidence, to drive export growth,”
Peter’s report highlights that primary industries face significant challenges, including supply chain dependencies, and are price takers for critical inputs such as fertilisers, agricultural machinery, and fuel additives. Improved supply chain transparency means Australian industry is better able to manage rising inflation caused by geopolitical tensions, climate challenges, and other risks.
“Australia needs to use international data standards to support trade and export market access. We have world leading capabilities, technology and tools however we need to focus on capacity and awareness of what our trading partners need and do and why. If Australia does better with our food traceability, it helps farmers differentiate their products, make more money from premiums linked to good farming practices, boost exports, and drive our economy forward,”
“Businesses can better manage their supply chains, reduce risks, build customer confidence and trust, and have greater market stability,”
“Knowing where and how our food has been produced helps Australia produce and deliver what customers value, secure new markets, and better manage the complexities of supply chains,”
As the year 2030 approaches and Australia’s goal of achieving $100 billion in agricultural production come into sight, traceability and supply chains continue to be a focal point for the government and industry, with an increased emphasis on trade and agricultural credentials.
“There is an enormous opportunity if we get this right. A national approach to enhanced supply chain traceability is now critical, as primary industries are not an island,” said Peter.