Profit and ecological sustainability to drive agricultural sector


Tony Gleeson, CEO of the ALM Group, believes that Australian farmers should be wary of calls to produce more food.

“Australian farmers have demonstrated a great capacity to increase production but this alone has not delivered a sustainable agricultural sector,” Tony said.

Tony, a closing speaker at the 2013 Queensland Landcare Conference, says that sensationalist predictions of famine, food insecurity and food price rises fuel the ‘production at any cost mentality’ at the expense of developing a profit-driven sector underpinned by protection of our environment.

Tony endorses the call from GrainCorp CEO Alison Watkins for Australia to be a reliable supplier of high margin, safe, green and high quality food, deliberately avoiding competing in a low-margin supermarket role.

Tony notes that no matter where they are consumers expect to be able to conveniently purchase safe high quality produce at reasonable prices.

“We need to go the extra mile and deliver highly differentiated products into less price sensitive high-end markets. One of the many ways to do this is to verify our superior ‘green’ and animal welfare credentials through certification. Certification also provides a base for support for landholders who demonstrate superior performance and it does so without the short-term problems usually associated with project funding.”

Tony believes this could be the next phase for Landcare.

Since 1981 Tony has owned a beef property in northern NSW. He is CEO of the Australian Land Management Group and previously worked as a strategic analyst, as Principal Adviser to the Federal Minister for Primary Industries, and as a researcher in the NSW Department of Agriculture and in CSIRO.

More information 

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