On 27 May the AFSA sent a Letter to the Federal Minister of Agriculture Joe Ludwig, renewing our request made at the end of March 2011 to be included in the Food Policy Advisory Working Group.

Earlier in May we had been contacted by the National Food Policy Unit at the Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, explaining in effect that the Advisory Working Group was only intended to include ‘food chain interests’, and that a broader national consultation would take place in the form of an issues paper and submissions on a food policy for Australia.

A call for broad national consultation

While we welcome the intention to conduct a broad national consultation, we remain concerned at the lack of transparency in the current process with the Food Policy Advisory Group. No minutes of its two meetings have been made public, for example. We also remain concerned at its narrow composition, and remain firmly convinced that much broader community participation is required in this forum and indeed in all forums that are working towards a national food policy for Australia.

Echo our perspectives

We invite all our supporters to echo the perspectives advanced in our letter to Minister Ludwig regarding these matters of vital national and community interest, by writing directly to the Minister at:

  • senator.ludwig@aph.gov.au.