16 April 2020

Food Supply and Demand

Dairy is in high demand across Australia as a result of COVID-19, commercial supply is low but supermarkets sales are larger than ever. Australian dairy is fairing very well compared to much of the rest of the world, assisted by reduced production as farmers have left the industry. Though there is still concern over the high input prices, as relief for grain prices is unlikely until after harvest.

 

One of the largest American pork processing facilities has been shut down, which could have potential impacts on Australia’s pork supplies as we are not self sufficient. However, Australian pork chief executive Margo Andrae believes Australian pork is extremely resilient, they are confident sales and supply will continue in positive territory. 

 

Markets

Lamb markets seems almost business as usual, though the market is still quite volatile due to COVID-19.

 

There are concerns that the Federal government's clampdown on foreign investments in Australia could have unintended consequences for farmers, cutting off a potentially important source of funding for farmers who are struggling with liquidity. 

 

Australian exporters struggling to secure loans have been given a $500 million lifeline by the federal government to help re-establish markets and expand operations damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Environment 

Some of Australia’s biggest environmental organisations, including ACF and WWF, have asked the government to delay the completion of its statutory review of Australia’s EPBC Act, raising concerns over the impact bushfires and coronavirus will have on the review process. 

 

Rural Life

ACM Media has stopped production of non-daily newspapers and closed 4 press facilities. ACM’s 14 daily newspapers and weekly agricultural publications are unaffected. 

 

There are concerns that rural hospitals are still underprepared for a COVID-19 outbreak in their area, as some are yet to run simulations or order necessary supplies.

 

The Commonwealth has announced a $50 million package to support public interest journalism across TV, newspapers and radio in regional and remote Australia.


The Federal Government needs to urgently intervene to ensure Australia's vulnerable - particularly those in regional and rural communities - are not left without vital supplies during the COVID-19 crisis, the union representing postal workers says.