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Introducing AASF: The Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework

At the 2035 Oceania Summit, the Australian Farm Institute will be sharing details of their just published major report (slated for March 2022); the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework (AASF).

Development of the AASF commenced in December 2019 and continues until March 2022. Through the work of the Australian Farm Institute and KPMG, the following purpose and benefits of AASF have emerged. These are described in the Concept Diagram which can be accessed here.  The purpose of the AASF is to communicate the overall sustainability goals and the status of all Australian agriculture to the market and to the community. 

The value and benefits the AASF could provide to Australian agriculture include:

  • acting as a translation layer to assist companies, financial institutions and investors to improve their understanding of Australian agricultural sustainability, measurement and reporting and to align this with their own sustainability measurement and reporting;
  • sharing information with Australian-based agricultural sustainability frameworks and schemes about the latest market and investor expectations in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects;
  • providing the Australian agricultural industry with a unified means to demonstrate and communicate its sustainability to customers, consumers, community and governments in order to maintain, secure and access markets; and
  • making it easier for Australian agricultural sectors and producers to participate in emerging private sector markets that demand agriculture products that are sustainably and responsibly produced.

We believe that the report and presentation by Australian Farm Institute Executive Director, Richard Heath in Auckland next April will provide valuable insights to New Zealand’s primary sector organisations looking to develop an equivalent ‘All of New Zealand Agricultural Sustainability Network’.

About the Australian Farm Institute 

The Australian Farm Institute has been established to conduct research into public policy issues impacting on the Australian farm sector, and to promote policy solutions that maximise the economic and social wellbeing of farmers. To do this, the Institute conducts research projects on specific farm policy issues, promoting the outcomes of this research to policy-makers.

The Institute has a commitment to ensuring research findings are the conclusion of high quality, rigorous and objective analysis. The Institute’s research is overseen by a Research Advisory Committee consisting of experienced senior researchers and academics. The Committee identifies strategic issues, and oversee the quality of research contracted out by the Institute to ensure it is of the highest calibre and is conducted objectively.

Broadly, the Institute’s research program is structured around three key themes:

  • Agricultural businesses – focusing on issues that impact on the ability of farmers to operate profitable businesses
  • Agricultural resources – focusing on natural resource management issues that impact on farmers
  • Agricultural communities – focusing on social issues impacting on farmers and their regional communities.

Research promotion is important to the Institute as it assists in the development of sound and innovative policy solutions, in addition to enlightening the wider community. A variety of publications are produced, including a quarterly journal, as well as seminars and events that provide opportunities for Institute researchers and policy-makers to exchange ideas.