Specialist farm insurer Achmea Australia has called to future-proof agriculture ahead of Australia Day, in light of a string of natural disasters that have put farmers’ resilience to the test.
The message comes following the unprecedented bushfires that scorched important farmland and killed thousands of cattle, sheep, and horses.
“The destruction caused by the catastrophic bushfires has served to remind us of the importance of food security, reinforcing the value of the agriculture sector and recognising the resilience of Australian farmers and their communities,” said Emma Thomas, Achmea Australia CEO. “On this Australia Day when we celebrate our great country, we acknowledge the devastating economic and human impact of the bushfire crisis on our agricultural communities. It is a day to reflect but also to plan for a more resilient future of our sector.”
Achmea noted that agricultural activities in Australia account for 58% of land use and are vital for economic growth, employing more than 300,000 people and making up 2.5% of the total workforce.
“It is critical to the economy and our agricultural communities that we as an industry work together to rebuild the livelihoods of our farmers,” Thomas said. “Having witnessed first-hand the devastating impacts of natural disasters on the farming community, I understand the impact of a loss is far-reaching, and rarely limited to financial loss alone. Australian farmers are among the most resilient in the world, but it can be very difficult to rebuild and adjust to life after a catastrophic event. Just like our bushfire season, the road to recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Thomas stressed that Australian farmers would continue to play an important role in feeding the world and it is “important for all industry partners, from farmers on the ground through to industry bodies, government, insurers, and consumers to work together to ensure a sustainable future in Australian agriculture.”