CCIQ seeking feedback on Agriculture white paper

Friday 28 March, 2014

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland is calling for businesses in the agriculture sector to contribute to its submission to the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.

Senior Policy Analyst Leanne Connell said the Chamber was conducting a survey and compiling case studies on specific agricultural businesses to determine the key issues facing the agriculture sector.

 “From our consultation with members to date, one of the major issues being identified is rising input costs and reduced profit margins – agricultural businesses tend to be price takers, with rising input costs coming out of their bottom line.

“Labour, transport and energy costs in particular, are being raised as a constraint on businesses.”

“Market dominance of retail chains has also been identified as a key issue – they are seen to use their market power to push costs, risks and responsibilities back down the supply chain to farmers.”

Other issues that have surfaced include market access, attraction and retention of skilled and semi-skilled staff, regulatory compliance, regional infrastructure and connectivity, and the drought.

Ms Connell said the agriculture sector played a vital role in Queensland’s economy and it was important to get feedback from businesses in the industry to ensure the business operating environment was competitive.

“Agriculture contributed $7.9 billion at the farm gate to the Queensland economy in 2012-13 and is one of the four pillars of the economy identified by the Newman Government,” she said.

“On a national scale, Queensland’s food and live animal exports represented 25.6 per cent of Australia’s agriculture exports in 2012-13, which shows why it is so important for Queensland businesses to contribute to the federal white paper.

“The agricultural industry is a key economic driver in many rural communities. It generates economic activity throughout the food manufacturing/processing, transport, wholesale and retail industries and is a primary and secondary source of income for many families.

“With the challenges the sector is facing, the Chamber is committed to providing a voice for agriculture businesses at the decision-making table.”

Please click on the following link to complete the survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2NW82DM.

If you would like to provide further information, please contact Leanne on (07) 3842 2227 or email lconnell@cciq.com.au.

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