Future food deficits

On the one hand is a ‘warning . . . from South Australia’s Horticulture Coalition and the Adelaide Produce Markets and . . .  echoed by the Australian Food and Grocery Council’ that:

Australia faces food shortages in 10 years if governments don’t immediately to protect producers.

They’re probably right.

At the same time, comes Bob Katter promising to break the ‘Coles and Woolworths duopolies’ by means of legislation. Would it not be easier just to encourage independent grocers. Like others who appreciate the greater choice, I shop at Foodland and IGA.

More seriously, Katter is an enthusiast for ethanol. This, too, he would pursue by means of legislative requirements.

Ethanol and food don’t mix. Ethanol production, always subsidised (and in the US, protected from imports), displaces food production. Period. Want food shortages? Follow Katter’s path.

What ‘protect producers’ means precisley is quite unclear. A statement such as this:

The market called on all levels of government to increase investment in infrastructure, reduce taxation and announce specific policies to ensure the industry survives and remains competitive on a global scale.

tells one very little.: what so-called infrastructure, which taxes, what ‘policies’?

Rethinking is clearly required. It should be open, transparent if you like, and not, as the likes of Katter would have it, an excuse for rent-seeking.

 

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