FARMERS are reassuring consumers there is no need to fear food shortages in Australia as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
NSW Farmers’ vice president Chris Groves said farmers in NSW and across the country were busy doing what they do best- producing local food and fibre.
“The hens are still laying eggs, the dairy cows are still being milked, grain growers are preparing winter crops, orchards are still bearing fruit and Australian farmers are still producing the world’s best produce,” he said.
“This unprecedented event will have an impact on our export markets, which take around 75 per cent of what farmers produce, but Australians can be assured that there will be more than enough food for them.
“We don’t rely on any other country to feed us. We want consumers to keep in mind both rice and wheat are grown here in New South Wales along with the vast majority of our fruit and vegetables. There’s no need to panic if there’s no rice or pasta on supermarket shelves.”
Mr Groves said the drought was still lingering and farmers are recovering from bushfires, but fresh food items like apples and bananas were being picked now and the livestock sector is maintaining supply.
“It’s incumbent on supermarkets to work closely with farmers to ensure readily available produce at this time,” he said.
Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, has today posted a similar message on his Twitter account urging people not to panic.
“We have an abundant supply of top-quality fresh food produced from all parts of the country that ensures that there will be plenty of food on the table,” he said.
Mr Littleproud said Australia produced enough food for 75 million people, three times its population, and was one of the world’s food bowls.
“We can take great comfort from the fact that this lucky country produces enough food to guarantee we will continue to enjoy the best-produced products anywhere in the world.
“There is a reliable supply from the farm paddocks to the dining room plates of fresh nutritious food for our good health and wellbeing.”
Sources: NSW Farmers, Minister for Agriculture