Tue 15, Dec 2020
Nine years to achieve the National Farmers Federation’s goal of $100Bn in farmgate output by 2030. Nine years for us, the members and supporters of the AIA, to build our capability to support a $100Bn a year industry. What skills and expertise will be needed over the next nine years? How will we even build and support an industry that big with so many risks and uncertainties? Science is robust, but it is a slow learner. So what must our leaders and scientists learn in nine years above and beyond the needs to good scientific literacy?
No industry, big or small, can ever hope to grow without standards or the professionals willing to stand up for those standards. Agriculture, like all other industries, has technical standards. Standards for the quality of the food and fibre that is produced, standards for how our animals are treated, and standards for how to keep our farm workers safe. But what about ethical standards or social licence? What about the behavioural standards our customers expect from agricultural professionals regardless of how they are connected?
By 2030 the students of today will have enough experience and expertise to qualify for CAg membership. In nine years, our leadership, both on the board and in the divisions, will have replaced itself two maybe even three times and these CAg members will be making the decisions we are having to make today. So how do we support these up-and-coming leaders in agriculture? How do we ensure that the early- and mid-career members of today have everything they need to build agriculture in Australia to its full potential?
By creating and expecting basic ethical and social standards from our membership, such as ensuring that we are honest in our research and advice, we are helping our future leaders to make agriculture into the $100Bn industry it could be. By setting these standards now, we are enabling our future leaders to build on what we have created in the same way new technology is built using the concepts of earlier technology. Ethics and professional standards are not just the here and now, they will be with the industry, every industry, forevermore. The AIA is perfectly placed to support the agriculture professionals of 2030 to be leaders in ethical and professional standards, not just leaders in science and technology. The ethical standards we set over the next nine years will define which export markets our agriculture products have access to. And the fair and ethical treatment of all agriculture workers, both on farms and as international ambassadors, will define the value of our exports to international markets. The ethical standards of the Australian agriculture industry is just as important as our technological advances as we reach towards that $100Bn a year goal.
Read about AIA’s code of ethics: