Sustainable agriculture is fundamental to supporting rural communities, which are a vital part of Australian society, and to ensuring a healthy, sustainable, secure and fair food system.
The Australian Greens believe that:
1. Sustainable agriculture is fundamental to food security, environmental sustainability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
2. The implementation of sustainable farming systems is essential for maintaining healthy, productive landscapes and addressing the grave threats of land, soil and water degradation, and climate change. Sustainable farming systems are those that apply ecological concepts to the management of agriculture – often called agro-ecology.
3. Sustainable agriculture cannot be delivered without thriving, resilient rural communities, and farmers and land managers who play a critical role in maintaining healthy landscapes and ecosystem services.
4. Australia must regenerate rural communities through viable, resilient, productive and sustainable farms.
5. Urban and peri-urban agriculture are important components of sustainable and community food systems in Australia.
6. Remnant native vegetation on and around farms and pastoral and mining leases should be valued, protected and restored.
7. As the most arid inhabited continent with fragile ancient soils, Australia's prime agricultural land and water supplies are vital national assets which must be protected from competing and unsustainable uses.
8. Land use policy should prioritise the protection of prime agricultural land from competing economic uses and encroachments including urban expansion, mining, hydrocarbon extraction, and unsustainable biofuel crops.
9. Sustainable agriculture cannot be delivered without a skilled workforce and an Australian population that understands and values our food systems.
10. Ongoing innovation, research, development and extension are essential to maintain and improve the sustainability and prosperity of Australian agriculture.
11. The Precautionary Principle, as defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity, must be applied to all new agricultural technologies and the use of their products in the environment
12. Australia's trade policy, including free trade agreements, must not compromise domestic and international food security or food sovereignty.
13. Consistent with the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, First Nations Peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property and share in profits for the use of native plants.
14. Methane emission from livestock is a major source of greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming and climate change, and need to be reduced.
15. Labelling of food products should be truthful and comprehensive.
The Australian Greens want:
1. A national agricultural strategy for sustainable agriculture to deliver adequate, safe and nutritious food for all Australians; ensure the well-being of our agricultural communities; a skilled and supported workforce; provisions to adapt to and mitigate the challenges of climate change; and the health and maintenance of the soil and ecosystems that underpin our food and fibre production.
2. Assistance for farmers to implement sustainable and regenerative agricultural systems and practices that restore and improve soil health, carbon storage, water quality, water use efficiency and biodiversity.
3. To assist farmers to minimise or eliminate the use of harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
4. To support farmers to reduce emissions, including through reducing usage of fossil fuels and nitrogen fertilisers, and supporting research and changing practices to reduce livestock emissions.
5. To foster community-based decision making and empower and resource Australia’s rural communities to implement sustainable agricultural systems and address climate change and soil and water degradation.
6. Support for initiatives that increase local product quality and nutrition, local value-adding and local distribution, fair prices for farmers, and the promotion of Australian produce to the Australian community, including urban agricultural initiatives.
7. To develop and implement measures to eliminate waste in the entire food production system, including fuel, transport, packaging and consumption.
8. To incorporate sustainable agricultural and food systems including landscape management into the national curriculum for primary and secondary levels.
9. To improve the uptake of and increase secondary, tertiary and vocational agricultural courses to increase Australia's agricultural skill base and workforce retention.
10. To develop and implement an effective framework — including financial incentives, pricing mechanisms, extension services and regulation — to ensure that farmers and land managers are rewarded for the repair and maintenance of ecosystem services.
11. To strengthen and increase research, development and extension to support sustainable agricultural systems, healthy landscapes and resilient rural and regional communities.
12. To ensure that Australia's regulation of irrigation water, including groundwater extraction, delivers resource security, maximum water use efficiency and environmental sustainability, including the protection of critical ecosystems such as wetlands and base stream flows.
13. To end broad-scale native vegetation clearing and to restore native vegetation and biodiversity.
14. To ensure Australia maintains and properly resources an effective biosecurity system, including the recognition of internal regional differences in pest and disease-free status, to protect Australian agriculture and the environment that supports it from invasive species, pests and diseases.
15. Reform of competition policy to address the unacceptable level of concentrated ownership in Australia's food production, distribution and sales systems that undermine sustainable agriculture and rural and regional communities.
16. The reorientation of Australia’s approach to international food trade to ensure it does not undermine food security or sovereignty domestically or internationally, compromise our biosecurity, or undermine the prosperity and sustainability of farming systems and communities.
17. To encourage the sustainable and appropriate use of local native plants for food and fibre to reduce land degradation, greenhouse emissions and increase their protection.
18. To provide programs that support young people interested in becoming farmers or working in agricultural industries.
19. To ensure that drought assistance and other incentives for land managers encourage long-term risk reduction strategies.
20. Implement stronger animal welfare laws relating to agriculture and food production and ensure authorities or organisations responsible for monitoring animal welfare are appropriately resourced.
21. To ensure that the Foreign Investment Review Board rigorously regulates, monitors and reports on all foreign acquisition and ownership of agricultural land, to ensure that it does not impact negatively on Australian agriculture and food security.
22. Appropriate mechanisms and processes to ensure that First Nations peoples are included in decision making in regards to the development of land.
23. Increased incentives for meat and dairy producers to implement methane reduction methods.
24. Comprehensive labelling of all foods and nutritional supplements to include country of origin, GM content, likelihood of pesticide and herbicide residues, and nutritional content.
(Agriculture Policy as amended by National Conference May 2020.)