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The Forum > Article Comments > Food - the new BBQ stopper > Comments

Food - the new BBQ stopper : Comments

By Marc Purcell, published 14/7/2008

The lack of aggressive, widespread action on the food crisis from the G8 is concerning.

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So what can Australia do?

Australian farmers can certainly produce more food.
If the US, Japan and other countries not only removed subsidies, but also removed artificial 'dumping' barriers, Australia could flood hamburger beef into countries like the US and grass fed beef steaks into Japan, thus making it profitable for Australian cattlemen to produce more beef. Australia can produce beef and mutton at less cost than any other nation.
But, who will pay for the impoverished and hungry people of the world to eat beef or mutton?
Will you, the readers of this article, ask the Federal government to tax you more highly so that they can use your money to feed the hungry?
Do you want to give up the steak on your barbecue so that a family in Asia or Africa has meat?
This issue is not about food scarcity, it is about the ability of the poor to purchase food
Posted by Country girl, Monday, 14 July 2008 9:55:20 AM
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Marc,
I would like to thank Oxfam on taking a public position questioning the grain biofuel industry.

With at least 7 per cent of the worlds grain now being converted to biofuels I have no doubt that this industry is contributing significantly to the rise in food prices to the worlds poorest.
The UK Gallagher Report supports this view and the EU is revisiting itís biofuels policy.
However in Australia our governments are still subsidising and mandating the conversion of grain to biofuels.

I am hoping other likeminded organizations will support Oxfam in this stance.
Posted by Goeff, Monday, 14 July 2008 4:49:07 PM
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One of the largest problems with food production here is the threat of 'waste'.

Due to our small population our farmers rely heavilly on the OS market and, if that market dries up then our markets are flooded with discounted food items from meat to fruit and veg which in turn effects the price to the farmer so they are less likely to take the risks associated with full production in order to minimise thoer losses.

One idea would be for the gov to buy all surpluss stock from our farmers, on a cost recovery basis, and send this food over seas instead of dollars.

Lets see the OS black markets deal in pork chops instead of money!
Posted by rehctub, Monday, 14 July 2008 10:09:55 PM
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According to the 2007 ABARE feedgrain report. Australian cattle
consumed 5.7 million tonnes of grain in 2005-6. Chicken and
pigs consumed almost another 5 million tonnes. And last year (in
figures sent to me by ABS) Australia imported an additional
2 million tonnes of feed grains (mainly soy).

Oh yes, 21 million Australians consumed just 2 million tonnes of
grain as food.

If you want to know how good Garnaut's modelling is, he has
the Australian population in 2050 at 47 million with similar
levels of meat consumption --- pull the other one!

Biofuels are simply the straw on the camels back. The cause of
global food shortages is meat consumption. It's the elephant
that dominates BBQs but is never mentioned. To paraphrase
Fawlty Towers --- "For God's sake, don't mention the meat!".
Posted by Geoff Russell, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 11:02:13 PM
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