Extreme weather events, the pandemic, industrial action, animal disease and geopolitical tensions have been named as reasons Australia’s food system has faced vulnerability. The National Food Supply Chain Alliance has forecasted that by this time next year, food prices could soar another eight per cent.
Of course, labor shortages in the food produce industry are also to blame for Australia’s failing system, with a shortage of up to 170,000 people. Alliance spokesman Richard Forbes described the nation’s food prices as one of the most important issues it faced: "We've never seen 11 catastrophic weather events in three years … [more extreme weather] means the supply chain will be disrupted further. And when you have a disrupted supply chain, you'll see rising food prices."
With Australia exporting about 70 per cent of its produced food, members of the Alliance have argued a national security plan could help reduce the rising cost of food prices and any further disruptions to the food system.
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