The distribution of food and groceries and the managing of transport logistics during a major crisis must be part of the development of Australia’s National Food Plan, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has said in the wake of the Queensland flood disaster.
Australia’s $102 billion food and grocery manufacturing industry, retailers and food relief organisations have worked together during the flood crisis to supply the needy, prompting AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell to urge Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to include a distribution and logistics strategy under the proposed Food Plan.
“The SE Queensland flooding disaster has shown the immense challenge of delivering food, groceries and other essential items to people in times of crisis,” Ms Carnell said.
“On behalf of the nation’s largest manufacturing sector – food and grocery – I urge Senator Ludwig to ensure that food and grocery distribution and transport logistics during a crisis or natural disaster form part of the proposed National Food Plan.”
Minister Ludwig has shown a real commitment to a National Food Plan and last year established a National Food Policy working group to provide a high-level policy perspective and advice on issues across the whole food chain – from paddock to plate.
“Industry fully supports the National Food Plan. Having a partnership approach involving relevant stakeholders and leading food manufacturers is vital to achieve a whole-of-supply chain strategy to ensure Australia has a safe, nutritious, affordable and sustainable food supply into the future,” Ms Carnell said.
Ms Carnell said the food and grocery manufacturing sector had shown enormous generosity during the latest Queensland flood relief effort, donating the equivalent of 53 semi-trailer loads of high-priority food, groceries and essential daily items like shampoo and toilet paper to Foodbank.
Foodbank is Australia’s largest national food relief organisation which receives support from the nation’s food and grocery manufacturers and retailers to deliver valuable food and drink supplies to every state via charities, such as St Vincent De Paul and the Salvation Army to thousands of people doing it tough.