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Grain Producers Australia has unveiled a new Sustainability Taskforce to strengthen policy and advocacy outcomes that help drive sustainability and profitability for grain producers and industry.

GPA Southern Director, and fifth-generation farmer from Cunliffe on northern Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, Mark Schilling, has been appointed inaugural Chair of the new Taskforce.

GPA’s Sustainability Taskforce is a working group of the GPA Policy Council, with membership also comprising grower leaders and representatives of State Farming Grains Committees. The Committee’s work and output will also be supported by GPA’s professional staff.

The Taskforce will operate on a similar model to the GPA Biosecurity Committee and GPA Pesticides and Technology Sub-committee. Other stakeholders and expertise can also take on Taskforce roles, to help inform policy and advocacy, and enhance grains sustainability outcomes.

“The GPA Sustainability Taskforce has been initiated to provide the opportunity for increased engagement on sustainability issues among GPA’s national membership. It will also identify opportunities to help educate growers and improve profitability and sustainability,” Mark said.

“Sustainability is one of my great passions and central to everything we do as growers – ensuring we grow grain in a way that’s motivated by passing on the farm to the next generation, in better shape.

“Growing up, my father and grandfather always instilled in me that if you look after the land the land will look after you. Until recent years I never really understood that’s what sustainability is really all about.

“Some may say it’s an over-used word, but the truth is sustainability is part of a farmers’ DNA.

“We’re taking the same approach to the GPA Sustainability Taskforce’s work, looking at ways to improve our industry for the benefit of future generations, by producing grains in a more sustainable way, to ensure we continue feeding Australians and tens of millions more people across the globe.”

Mr Schilling said sustainability was also central to his farming business – AG Schilling & Co – which is involved in different value-adding activities and initiatives, across the grains supply chain.

“I’m currently involved in a project looking at traceability in the grains supply chain and looking forward to working with the GPA Taskforce members, not only in this policy area but pursuing other ideas and initiatives that enhance value, market accessibility and sustainability for growers,” he said.

“We're keen to hear from other growers and others across industry with good ideas and an interest in collaborating, to ensure we not only talk the talk, but walk the walk on sustainability.”

The GPA Sustainability Taskforce will support the development of sustainability policy and relevant submissions, and promote the exchange of information with other members, government, industry and supply chain participants.

The Taskforce’s role is to:

· Provide opportunities for GPA State Members to develop greater understanding and knowledge of sustainability issues facing the Australian grains industry.

· To provide a forum for focused engagement and collaboration on member views and input into the Grains Sustainability Framework project.

· Develop GPA policy on grains sustainability – and identify any project and collaboration opportunities.

· Communicate educational information and encourage factual debate about grains sustainability and the impact on grain producers.

More details on GPA Sustainability Taskforce HERE



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