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Australia needs ‘Minister for food’ to combat supply shortages

Among the threats facing Australia’s food supply are climate change, loss of agricultural land, worker shortages, a looming fertilizer shortage, and global shocks such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Dr. Rachel Carey, senior lecturer in food systems at the University of Melbourne, said Australia’s status as a net food exporter should not be taken for granted, and the government needed a long-term plan to boost food security.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was perhaps the first time that Australian consumers had that experience of going to a supermarket and not finding what it was they wanted to buy,” Carey said. “We’ll continue to experience that more frequently unless we really do some serious long-term planning for how to increase the resilience of the food supply. We don’t really have anybody in government who is accountable for whether people have enough food, so a minister for food might be a good start.”

Professor Mark Howden, director of the Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions at the Australian National University, backed the idea of a Minister for Food, given the expected population growth in Australia and globally.


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