Friday, 17 April 2020

Queenslanders can remain confident that Australia’s food security is not at risk because of COVID-19.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth said evidence abounds that our food production and supply chains are up to the job of enduring and emerging through the current pandemic.

“Australia will always have enough food. We produce far more than we consume. COVID-19 doesn’t change that,” Minister Littleproud said.

“A surge in demand had an impact on the availability of some of our favourite products on supermarket shelves. Shoppers were stockpiling and supply chains had to adjust.

“This is not an indication of food shortages.

“What’s more, our farmers and agricultural systems ensure we remain a net exporter of food.

“Plenty of local seafood providers operating here in the Moreton Bay region in my electorate of Petrie are testament to that.

“Amid crucial measures to curb the spread of this virus, we’ve made sure getting food on the table remains an essential service.

“We’ve implemented strategies that include maintaining agriculture’s service and supply lines, extending work visas, and providing air freight support,” he said.

Mr Howarth said the latest ABARES research showed we export 70 per cent of our agricultural production.

“In terms of specific commodities – that’s 76 per cent of our beef and veal, 71 per cent of our wheat and 41 per cent of our dairy products being exported,” Mr Howarth said.

“The report also shows our overall reliance on imports remains low.

“Ensuring Australia’s food security is one of the government’s top priorities. It’s a key part of $320 billion of measures to deal with the impacts of COVID-19,” Me Howarth said.