Food security in Australia in an era of neoliberalism, productivism and climate change

Lawrence, Geoffrey, Richards, Carol, & Lyons, Kristen (2013) Food security in Australia in an era of neoliberalism, productivism and climate change. Journal of Rural Studies, 29, pp. 30-39.

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Abstract

For over 150 years Australia has exported bulk, undifferentiated, commodities such as wool, wheat, meat and sugar to the UK and more recently to Japan, Korea, and the Middle East. It is estimated that, each year, Australia's farming system feeds a domestic population of some 22 million people, while exporting enough food to feed another 40 million. With the Australian population expected to double in the next 40 years, and with the anticipated growth in the world's population to reach a level of some 9 billion (from its present level of 7 billion) in the same period, there are strong incentives for an expansion of food production in Australia. Neoliberal settings are encouraging this expansion at the same time as they are facilitating importation of foods, higher levels of foreign direct investment and the commoditisation of resources (such as water). Yet, expansion in food production – and in an era of climate change – will continue to compromise the environment.

After discussing Australia's neoliberal framework and its relation to farming, this paper outlines how Australia is attempting to address the issue of food security. It argues that productivist farming approaches that are favoured by both industry and government are proving incapable of bringing about long-term production outcomes that will guarantee national food security.

Impact and interest:

34 citations in Scopus
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28 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 68201
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Australia, Food security, Productivism, Neoliberalism
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.12.005
ISSN: 0743-0167
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Rural Studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Rural Studies, [VOL 29, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.12.005
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2014 22:57
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2016 13:58

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