A recent study from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia found that Australian households were in a worse position than those in the United States, Italy and France to access affordable food, due to the collapse in global markets for raw material, processing, transport and processing.
“Food prices are rising as a result of global supply constraints, and the world has not yet recovered from the financial crisis,” Professor Andrew Bresnahan, from the CSIRO, said.
“It is therefore important to understand what are the implications of these global events for Australia.”
A similar analysis by the National Farmers Federation (NFF) found the country’s ability to provide food to the population was being severely constrained.
“A lot of people have been looking at the world economy for the last three years and it has been very disappointing,” Mr Bresnoan said.
But the report also showed that a lot of the food produced in Australia is imported, which is “critical to our food supply”, according to Mr Bresh, who is also a research fellow at the CSIO.
“So we really need to be thinking about what can be done in terms of imports and what is the impact of our import restrictions on food security,” he said.
The findings have been criticised by some farmers and industry groups.
“While we agree that food supply is important for Australia, we also believe that it is a priority for Australian industry to provide more supply for our customers,” NFF chief executive Mark Bresnan said.
However, he said he believed there were many benefits to Australia’s food system.
“I don’t think that it’s just a matter of providing more supply to Australia, it’s a matter about providing more value to our people and the people of Australia,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
We need to invest in Australia and our economy is the world’s largest exporters of food.””
The Australian economy is growing.
We need to invest in Australia and our economy is the world’s largest exporters of food.”
But at the same time, the food industry is facing very significant pressures, both domestic and overseas, and this is not just a problem for Australia.
“We need to find ways to reduce the impact and increase the impact on the global economy as well as our own food system.”
How to protect your family’s food supply from global market disruption?
The CSIRO report, which was published on Wednesday, found that the price of a kilogram of food was about $8.50, or around 14 per cent higher than in 2014.
“In the US, the cost of food for consumers is lower than it was just a year ago,” Professor Bresnaan said, referring to the peak of the global financial crisis in late 2008.
“But it’s not just the cost, it is the effect on the food system as well.”
We’re seeing increased demand for raw materials, for processing, for transport, for foodstuffs.
“That’s not going to be the case in Australia.”
The report also noted that the cost for importing raw materials was rising, but that “the impact is being driven by international markets and the ability of countries to meet their international commitments”.
Australia’s biggest export markets are China and the US.
The report found that a significant proportion of Australia’s imports of raw materials were made from China, while a significant number of food imports were made by the US and China.
“As a result, Australia’s reliance on imports of these raw materials has declined,” the report said.
Australia has the second-largest agricultural export market in the World, after China.
But it is facing a growing food shortage, with Australia importing about one third of its food needs.
“Over the next five years, our food system will require an estimated $3.5 billion to $4.5bn of additional import capacity,” Professor Rachael Nesbitt, an expert in food security and food production at the Australian National University, said in a statement.
“This means we will need to import more than $4 billion worth of raw material and processing materials over that period.”
However, Professor Nesbit said Australia’s exports to the US were likely to be reduced, given the US government’s ban on imports from Iran, which has the largest number of US citizens in the country.
“There’s a lot that can happen,” she said.
Mr Breston said it was important to ensure food security for Australians, as the CSI study showed.
“For the food sector, the bottom line is, if we are going to meet our needs, then we have to have food on the shelves,” he added.