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Introducing AASF: The Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework

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

Development of the AASF has been coordinated by the National Farmers’ Federation on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, as part of the Australian Government’s Agriculture Stewardship Package.

AFI has undertaken Element 1 (Framework Development) of this project in 2021, in parallel with work on Financial Systems & Accounting Systems led by KPMG (Element 2). Four further connected elements of this phase, including benchmarking industry programs, aligning measurement frameworks, engagement and legal analysis, informed this major piece of work.

The purpose of the AASF is to communicate the overall sustainability status and goals of all Australian agriculture to the market and to the community. 

The value and benefits the AASF aims to 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 October will provide valuable insights to New Zealand’s primary sector organisations looking to develop an equivalent ‘All of New Zealand Agricultural Sustainability Network’.