We all rely on food to survive and thrive. Food is a big part of our daily life. We think about it, dream about it, take photos of it, tell our friends about it. It's not just something we need, it's something we love. And it's part of who we are, our favourite meals, our family identity, our culture.

But our broken food system, dominated by big business, from supermarkets to chemical companies, is a major contributor to nature destruction and climate change in Australia and globally.

Hundreds of millions of people face food insecurity globally and, as the impacts of climate change and nature destruction increase, this will only get more severe. The only way we can produce enough nutritious food to continue feeding the world is by working with nature, not against it. It’s going to require a range of changes, from cutting food waste to changing diets, and adopting new nature and farmer-friendly farming practices.

Some useful reading:

The impacts of food production on climate and nature
Australian Corporate Deforestation Policy Guide

Man looking at soil in paddock with cows in the background

The Solutions

It’s not all doom and gloom. There are solutions, and ways of producing food which can help nature thrive. We have a bold vision for a thriving, sustainable, and adaptive Australian agriculture industry which nurtures landscapes, supports communities, and rewards farmers engaging in best-practice stewardship.

Unlike many countries, Australia produces most of the food sold on shelves in our supermarkets and restaurants. Not only that, we produce enough to feed other countries, too – over 70% of all food produced in Australia is exported. This means we have a unique opportunity to make Australia a world leader in sustainable food production.

There is already a groundswell of sustainable and regenerative farmers, innovative food companies, and conscientious consumers leading the way.

Some useful reading:

How food and agriculture can support climate and nature goals
A farmer's vision for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity

The Players

Food production occurs in a complex system with different players and varying degrees of power and influence:

  • Supermarkets are a bridge between farmers and consumers, which has given them a huge amount of power in the food system.
  • Banks provide the loans to farmers and invest in food companies that enable them to provide the food that we eat.
  • Government has an important role to play in implementing laws and policies which ensure Australia’s food system is fair, equitable, good for nature, and sustainable for future generations.
  • Farmers play a key role in the way their land is managed, and they’re often at the mercy of companies purchasing their crops or livestock who demand cheaper or more competitive deals.

Our broken food system doesn’t work for nature, climate, consumers, or farmers. It is largely driven by the profit needs of supermarkets, commodity traders, large processors and chemical companies that set the conditions under which farmers operate and consumers consume, while influencing politics to protect business-as-usual.

Long story short, we all have a role to play.

ACF is shining a light on nature degradation in Australia’s food system and calling on some of the biggest corporate players in the food space to up their game for nature.