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Next week, Australia will celebrate National Agriculture Day. It's an occasion that has been made possible with support from a wide range of partners, who have given their time and resources to celebrate our industry.
National Agriculture Day (AgDay) first arose from discussions between Mrs Gina Rinehart, and the National Farmers' Federation.
It has grown to become a major national awareness campaign coordinated by the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), with Foundation Partners in the Commonwealth Government, Coles, and Fairfax Agricultural Media.
The is a day to celebrate agriculture: one of Australia's most culturally, economically and historically important sectors.
Liverpool Plains farmer and NFF President, Fiona Simson, said, "Not only does agriculture put food on our plates and clothes on our back, it provides a significant national economic contribution and a sense of identity for so many of us. I want ALL Australians to feel a sense of pride in agriculture."
"Today, our farmers feed about 61 million people globally. And the demand to feed more global citizens is real. By 2050, there will be 70% or 2.3 to 2.4 billion more people on earth. This means we will need 70 per cent more food than what is currently on offer.
Australian farmers are certainly stepping up to the plate to meet the world’s hunger."
I want ALL Australians to feel a sense of pride in agriculture.
Fiona Simson, President, NFF
But AgDay is not only about what happens behind the farm gate. Agriculture underpins some of Australia's largest businesses - many of whom have lent their time and resources to celebrate the industry.
McDonald's Australia (Macca's) - a partner in #AgDay - spend $1 billion each year on locally sourced and manufactured products and ingredients. Their Aussie shopping list includes 25.3 million kilograms of beef, 60 million potatoes, 95 million eggs, and enough fresh milk to fill 16.8 Olympic-size swimming pool, as well as lettuce tomatoes and most of the other fresh produce on the Macca's menu.
In the last 12 months as well as the 25,300 metric tonnes of beef purchased locally, Macca's has exported more than 39,000 metrics tonnes for use overseas.
According to Robert Sexton, Director of Supply Chain, McDonald’s Australia, none of this would be possible without the farmers and growers who supply restaurants from right around Australia.
"At Macca’s we’re firm believers in the quality of Australia’s locally grown and sourced produce. Australia grows some of the best produce in world," Mr Sexton said.
"Every ingredient has its own story, and we’re proud to say that we deliver only the highest quality ingredients from family farms directly to the families that dine with us at Macca’s."
Monsanto Australia is another proud partner of National Agriculture Day.
According to Tony May, Manager Director of Monsanto Australia, says its an important reminder of the fundamental nature of agriculture.
"At first glance, you might think that an event like National Agriculture Day doesn’t apply to you. But as a celebration of the nation’s farming industry, the day is a country-wide homage to the people who grow our food and fibre and the huge network of research, transport, logistics and value-add which springs forth from the farm gate."
"Participants in the agriculture industry come in many shapes and sizes. The artisan breads and organic olive oil from Saturday morning’s farmers market are just as significant as the large-scale wheat farmer and the commercial egg producer. Each of these growers is backed up by another layer of researchers, breeders, agronomists, scientists and consultants.
"National Ag Day is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on an industry that is evolving to meet the challenges that a changing world is throwing at us."