Fox Sports reporter and co-anchor Mike Ferrara has slammed the agri business for failing to be accountable for its “inexplicable” failure to report on the massive rise in the price of agri foods.
“Agriculture is the industry’s bread and butter,” Ferrara said.
The industry is “in crisis”, he said.
“Agricultural producers and processors have been left behind.”
Agri-Food Australia has been trying to provide a regulatory framework that allows farmers and processors to get on with their businesses and make a profit, but the industry has been failing to do that.
“Ferrara said the industry needs more accountability from the government, the ABC and producers.
FDA chief executive Scott Coady says the industry should be able to report directly to the regulator on its findings and concerns.
But it seems unlikely that the industry will be able for the time being to fully comply with the new regulations.”
What we are seeing from the industry is a lack of coordination,” said Dr Andrew Rutter, a nutrition expert and chief scientific officer at the University of Sydney.”
We know that many agri processors have found that the regulatory requirements and standards are not being met, and that’s the reason why we are now seeing the first public information leaks from the sector.
“That is why we have had a significant increase in leaks over the last 12 months.”
In terms of the regulator, it has been largely reactive and ineffective in providing oversight.
“He said there was a “growing number of consumers” who had “no idea what the regulation means”.”
It’s been a real mess’The ABC contacted the industry and received responses from the major Australian and international processors including Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta and the World Agroforestry Council. “
I would imagine that if the regulator was more proactive and more transparent, we would see an increase in the level of compliance and transparency.”‘
It’s been a real mess’The ABC contacted the industry and received responses from the major Australian and international processors including Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta and the World Agroforestry Council.
However, the response from the Australian industry was that they had no comment.
“There is no regulatory framework for the agribusiness sector,” a spokesperson for Monsanto said.
“This is why, when the regulations are rolled out, we will continue to work with the industry to support their compliance.”
‘It was a nightmare’A spokesperson for BASF told the ABC the sector was “very, very worried about the regulatory changes”.
“This has been a nightmare,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Rutter said there were also concerns the industry was not being transparent with consumers.
“The industry needs an independent regulator that is open to being influenced by the agritourists, because if the industry can’t tell the consumers what’s going on, how can it be regulated?”
The spokesperson said the sector would be looking at other ways of ensuring it is compliant.
“They have been a bit lax on reporting, which is a real shame, and we will be working with the regulators to get them on track,” he added.
‘Agriculturally responsible’Agri Australia said it would be consulting with industry to identify the best ways of providing information.
“To date, the industry hasn’t been transparent with the public about what the regulatory framework is, or the regulatory oversight regime that applies to the industry,” a spokesman for the Australian Agri-Grain Industry Association said.
“The Agri Agriculture Council (AACI) is currently engaged with industry stakeholders and is considering what additional information is needed to better inform the public and the regulatory process.”
The ACCC is now investigating a number of allegations made by the industry.
An ABC News investigation revealed a number industry complaints were not taken seriously.
Agri Agri, a major producer of cereal grains, was given a $200,000 fine and was ordered to implement a new policy that banned all grain processing until the end of 2019.
The ACCc is also looking into whether the industry broke the rules by not reporting a rise in prices of agro-processed foods.
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