Fair trade to help our farmers

Written By miftah nugraha on Jumat, 09 Agustus 2013 | 19.55

THE push for a shift from free trade to fair trade has been given the nod of approval from Australia's peak body for vegetable growers.

AusVeg public affairs manager William Churchill said all new trade negotiations should contain mechanisms that reflect costs Australian farmers incur in meeting.

"In comparison to many of our trading partners, Australian farmers must meet some of the highest environmental and labour standards in the world, and because of this, mechanisms that reflect these costs," Mr Churchill said.

AusVeg has welcomed several initiatives outlined in the Greens' Plan for Australia's Food Security, released by Senator Christine Milne.

The Leader of the Greens launched the plan via an interactive online release, the first of its type undertaken in Australia.

"The plan contains several initiatives which would allow Australian growers to remain productive and competitive in what is becoming an increasingly challenging global market," Mr Churchill said.

The Greens' plan also outlines an increase of 7 per cent a year for Commonwealth funding into agricultural research and development.

The plan features a $300 million boost for agricultural research and development and other measures designed to keep farmers on the land, put good food on every table and protect land and water.

The Greens' also call for reforms to food labelling to provide clearer information on Country of Origin labelling by making origin and manufacturing claims clearer.

"When you see a tin of tomatoes on a supermarket shelf, which has come all the way from Italy, being sold for less than 70 cents, it is easy to see why the local industry is struggling to compete."

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