Recent comments by: Simon

Agribuzz with David Leyonhjelm

There you go David, the root of the problem of agriculture's social licence is demonstrated in the responses above. Ignorance! In an environment of ignorance, all sorts of misinformation thrive. And that ignorance exists because the peak representative bodies have failed to represent us and educate our consumers.
04/02/15 04:37 AM
You are correct David. Every law that is passed in our parliaments, no matter how benign, takes away some freedom from all of us. But this is the price we pay to have redress over those who think their philosophy should be imposed on everyone else.
22/06/14 10:22 PM
Organic or not we have to look seriously at the mineral depletion of agricultural soils. Most Agriculture in Australia fertilises with N,P,K and half a dozen trace elements. The human body needs 60 different minerals in varying quantities. We feed our animals broad spectrum mineral supplements to avoid having to call the vet. Australian soils are amongst the most ancient, leached and mineral deficient agricultural soils in the world.
Organic food grown on these soils, if not fertilised with broad spectrum minerals (and most are not) is just as nutritionally deficient as conventional.
06/06/14 12:42 AM
The levy based R&D system is broken. It mixes private good with public good and inevitably the levy payer gets an inefficient return on investment. Levy monies should be 100% controlled by levy payers and Gov't R&D money should be 100% controlled by Gov't. Mixing the two creates a mess and reduces accountability!
12/05/14 04:57 AM
The top 20% of agricultural producers have mostly expanded their business influence up the supply chain by either investment or cooperative networking. If you see things as farmers vs the rest you are doomed to suffer the consequences of the on-going cost/price squeeze. Same applies to representative organisations. Unless they cover the whole food supply chain they have no influence as is currently the case.
05/05/14 02:47 AM
Miners have the Minerals Council of Australia through which they lobby Gov't and get their way. You can bet that between them and through Minerals Council they "have a plan". Agribusiness has 4,000 representative bodies that mostly fight with each other and within themselves. We need an Agribusiness Council if ever there is to be an industry supported "plan". By the way, our biggest trading partners all seem to have plans and all we seem to do is promise to give up sovereign rights in return for trade concessions. This is a pathetic negotiation stance and all because there is no plan.
28/04/14 01:01 AM
Well said David! Right on the money.
31/03/14 02:22 AM
Productivity increases without profit will only leave Australia with one option...Let foreigners with lower cost structure farm our land. Is this really in the national interest?
24/03/14 01:11 AM
There is a significant difference between INVESTMENT and TAKEOVER. ADM's proposal was a takeover. Joe Hockey demonstrated leadership and courage in the face of his own part's ideology in making that decision.
10/03/14 01:04 AM

Get Muddy

Well said Sam! Sam De Brito has no idea what harm he is doing to people who really do ensure animals have a comfortable and healthy life. What a load of arrant ignorance De Brito spouts! Unfortunately there are plenty of equally ignorant people who will swallow this rubbish. This is all because agriculture's peak body (supposedly NFF) has failed to protect Ag's social licence through education in the cities.
05/08/14 12:24 AM
Why does this article set me thinking about producer representative organisations?
08/07/14 12:37 AM
Sam, if the next generation of farmers can buy and sell "weathers" (as you spelt it) they will be OK because they should be able to buy some rain!
20/05/14 12:26 AM
That's great to hear. Apparently initiated serendipitously by Ch 9. If stories like this were to be initiated deliberately by industry, who do you think would or should organise it?
13/05/14 12:01 AM
  Working on trust 11 Comments 11
I am a strong supporter of our agribusiness industry however, my experience in the agricultural sector led me to make a decision in my late 20s that I would never again work for another farmer. I had some good farmer employers but they were in the minority. For most of them, people were just another resource to be exploited to the maximum. I am not surprised that staff are now hard to find. I hope farm employers are now lifting their game to attract good people.
30/04/14 02:22 AM
Well Pepper and Leon Tanner, we can choose to leave things as they are and continue to complain about them or we can recognise that the current model is not working and that we have to do something completely different.
18/03/14 04:57 AM
Focus on farmer and other producer representation is fine but the numbers aren't there. If you are inclusive and consider the entirety of agribusiness, you have the second biggest industry in Australia. A national council representing all of agribusiness will have the same kind of clout as the miner's Mineral Council of Australia. Check it out at:
18/03/14 12:38 AM
Disappointed that Brent was not more radical in his thinking. I'm not sure that tweaking the old business model is enough. Putting a younger driver on the same old stage coach is not going to cut it. Agri-representation needs to significantly increase its member base to resource itself and grow its credibility.
24/02/14 01:27 AM
If you want to be a "farmer" and not lose the farm, you have to be involved in the supply chain. We can no longer afford to be producers versus the rest. We have to be agribusiness professionals.
31/01/14 12:14 AM
It's like electric shock treatment. We've been conditioned to avoid causing a loud squeal by the noisy minorities. I'm hopeful we are beginning to see some politicians who are turning that around and seeing success in a loud squeal instead of failure!
14/01/14 12:57 AM

A matter of opinion

It all gets back to where the votes come from. Until the consequences of the decline in Ag+ investment are felt by the urban consumer, we can expect no change in attitude from politicians.
22/05/14 12:38 AM
You have to be joking Matt! Whatever name you want to call it it's a protection racket, pure and simple!
09/05/14 07:33 AM
I'm concerned about the concessions Australian negotiators will make to China. If you think the Japanese are tough negotiators, they've got nothing on the Chinese. Political pressure for a deal will make it expensive for Australia. This should be treated as a long term game. Remember, they want what we've got.
11/04/14 12:09 AM
Just a tiny little tweak from Joe Hockey could fix this. Scrap the quarterly profit reporting requirement on Super Funds investing in Agribusiness. This purely administrative requirement, in the face of longer periods to return profits from agribusiness, keeps Super money (Australian money) out of agribusiness.
21/02/14 04:02 AM

The Iceberg Letters

A great bouquet to the mums and dads who do the hard yards in the kitchen every day! Should not be extended to those who take their kids to the fast food joints morning and night.
09/04/14 06:06 AM

Burrs under my saddle

No-one here has got the point of the article. Everyone thinks it's about farming...especially the agrarian fundamentalists. The point is that the economic sector that deals with farm produce beyond the farm gate increases the value of that produce that is exported from 20% of the value of farm production to 60% of the value of farm production. These industries are just as forgotten by politicians and lobby organisations as farmers are and the statistics conspire to hide them.
18/08/15 02:45 AM

Bush Matters

The internet and social media have given regional producers a voice and contact with the rest of the population similar to past times when nearly everyone had a farming relative. Producers used these tools effectively to push back against the banning of live exports to Indonesia. Agribusiness council of Australia has implemented a facility where every producer gets the same audience at
22/08/14 02:26 AM
Grower funds must be solely grower controlled. No more mixing with public service management.
Government funds must be government controlled. No more mixing with grower management.
30/06/14 04:18 AM
Totally agree. That's why Joe Hockey rejected the ADM takeover of GrainCorp.
30/05/14 12:08 AM
Well said Barry. Economic globalisation is bringing with it administrative/bureaucratic globalisation which challenges national sovereignty. We need to actively reject such incusions.
02/05/14 04:52 AM

Out of the shadow

No major political party in Australia has a 'Strategy' for agribusiness. There are 1900 agribusiness students in just one of China's universities. Do you think China might have a plan? In the absence of an Australian plan, the Chinese plan may become the Australian plan by default!
15/12/14 04:28 AM
Unfortunately, Barnaby is subject to a control obsessed leader. He's not permitted to move on his own initiative and his leader is urban centric. The fact that the White Paper is being developed in the Prime Ministers Department does not offer much hope.
16/07/14 02:52 AM
This one's not going to fly Joel. It hasn't even got legs. That's probably why it didn't make the white paper.
18/06/14 03:32 AM


Prices have gone up and quality and reliability have gone down. This is what you get when a quality product gets reduced to a "brand" and inferior products are sold on the strength of the brand's history. This is only successful in the short term.
07/06/16 06:24 AM
Oh yes Mr Nahan, and all your "safeguards" will work just as well as they do with our privatised rail network. That gave us 300% higher rail charges than the east coast. Tell us another fairy tale.
20/04/16 01:10 AM
It is for the deputy prime minister to be concerned about critical national infrastructure like CBH's grain handling system falling into multinational hands, Joel.
25/02/16 12:50 AM
The users of agribusiness infrastructure should control that infrastructure. Governments have traditionally run ports to prevent monopoly behaviour. Monopoly behaviour is what you will eventually get if you corporatise CBH.
27/01/16 12:27 AM
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott were both "determined" but that is clearly not what makes a good leader!
12/01/16 01:33 AM
Just spin and re-badging of existing funding and oh my! he has given back to CSIRO 90% of what Tony took away!
15/12/15 01:00 AM
Sounds like the multinational suppliers are harder to bully than Aussie dairy farmers or fruit and veg growers.
09/12/15 05:37 AM
What? No comments? I don't believe the apathy. The people who will be hurt the most by this deal are silent?
04/10/15 02:17 PM
Get the users of the port together.....find out their concerns.....put feelers out for their appetite to form a consortium to bid for management rights against the multinationals.
09/09/15 05:59 AM
This would be funny if it wasn't so serious. Does WA farmers seriously think a "study" is a decisive act towards securing our port from falling into multinational hands? This is more like the behaviour of a government department than a peak industry representative organisation. What an unbelievably weak response to such a serious issue.
05/09/15 02:19 PM


Totally agree Jock. For a truly democratic representative organisation go to
21/08/15 11:11 AM
A new business model is needed for agribusiness representation in Australia. These arguments are a symptom of the failed system. NFF says it's implementing radical change. I hope it really is!
10/09/14 09:22 AM
Don' forget what China did to our wool industry in the 80s!
07/03/14 12:23 AM
Another example of the laws and their interpretation being more damaging than GM in a biological sense. There's no justice for the victim in this. The whole GM issue would go away if we changed the laws such that they make the plant variety rights owners (Monsanto and its ilk) and their customers responsible for all and any negative impacts on others. Anti GM people stop trying to argue the difficult to argue biological impacts and start arguing the easy to argue justice issues!
20/06/13 04:40 AM


Take note NFF! You only represent a decreasing number o farmers yet most of the issues seriously affecting farmers are AFTER the farm gate. You shouldn't wonder why you are less relevant every day.
02/09/15 01:31 AM
This is entirely the fault of our so-called "PEAK" industry bodies such as NFF. They have totally dropped the ball on maintaining Ag's social licence which they should have done by education in schools and media. The miners have Minerals Council of Australia Where is our TRUE national Agribusiness Council?
24/07/14 01:00 PM
US wants Australia to automatically approve and allow import of any US drug approved by US Food and Drug Authority. We must not trade away our sovereign authority for FTAs.
19/05/14 05:15 AM
Pete Rothwell and Freshy are examples of the challenge facing agribusiness representation in Australia. They don't see agribusiness, they just see farming. Until agribusiness - the food supply chain from paddock to plate - sees itself as the second biggest industry in Australia, it's going to continue to under-represent itself.
01/04/14 06:51 AM
I agree with most of what John Anderson said about emotive under-reasoned argument. However, I am a geophysicist and fracking is a high risk game with environmental outcomes almost impossible to predict.
24/08/15 12:34 AM
The comments above demonstrate the thriving of ignorance and false propaganda in the fact vacuum that is not being filled by education that should be provided by the peak agribusiness representative organisations.
21/08/15 11:05 AM
Well, true to form, there was nothing constructive in that.
11/08/15 03:43 AM
I think tony and Joe are pulling the strings here.
03/07/14 12:44 AM
55% of Australian consumers have never been on a farm and therefore have insufficient knowledge to tell fact from fiction about animal welfare. This is the fault of the fragmented representation of agribusiness in Australia. Too busy fighting with each other to educate the consumer. The so called "peak" body NFF has failed miserably on this.
03/06/14 03:15 AM
Can't buy an Aussie lemon in the shops in Perth at the moment! There are lemons on trees all around the city but if we don't grow our own we have to have USA lemons. C'mon Woolies, Coles, Independents; at least give us a CHOICE!!!
12/02/14 01:45 AM


AUSVEG, between the supermarkets screaming in their ears and the public servants resisting change, the pollies need supply chain representation to make sure they deliver CoOL.
22/05/15 05:54 AM
Yes Julian, I'm sure the city residents will not bat an eyelid when you spray your vegie garden covered building for pests. We need to be wary of science being corrupted by doctrine.
19/08/14 12:22 AM
Only one submission to Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper deals with this and proposes a significant change for the benefit of all levy payers. NFF supports the status quo! What the...? Oh, that's right NFF enjoys the same setup as HAL!!
19/05/14 01:59 AM
It was DAFWA that encouraged and supported the development of the out-of-season table grape production at Carnarvon. Now it's DAFWA that has been ordered to kill it.
07/01/14 07:53 AM


Vegman, you are an example of the disconnected and ill-informed urban populace. You probably didn't concentrate much in biology class at school. The formula is: Discomfort, stress, trauma = lower production = lower income to the producer. There is no advantage in cruelty. Humanising of animals and the demonising of those who care for them is the core tactic of the animal rights extremist ideologists. Their ideology and actions are extreme and outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour in Australian society.
19/06/14 12:36 AM


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NO ships with live animals should be leaving Australia. This industry is animal abuse and animal
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we are happy to have Aldi in katanning doing business with WAMCO we also wanted and in great
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This is a disgrace but what can you expect from a Liberal Government that insists on making
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