Achieving Food Security in Australia – beyond a production and processing focus


The aim of the scoping study is to demonstrate that ‘food security’ is a complex multidisciplinary issue, much broader than the current policy focus on agricultural production and the processing sector. The study will approach food security through a ‘food systems’ framework, drawing primarily on recently completed research by the author , which investigated domestic issues relevant to food futures in Australia. The study will demonstrate the value of a food systems approach to analysing the different perpsectives on causes and solutions to food security, partiuclarly in the context of policy development. The study will also identify other significant integrated research or intiatives related to food security, to identify opportunities and constraints to progressing a national holistic approach to the future of food in Australia. From these findings, further areas of research will be identified which would contribute to an integrated national food policy.


National Rural Issues

Research Organisation

Sandy Robinson & Associates

Objective Summary

The objectives and proposed outcomes of this study are: Objectives 1. To draw on the findings of the author's research into Australia’s food security, to: (a) Demonstrate the value of presenting food in Australia as an interlinked set of food activities and food outcomes in a ‘food system’, based on a systems thinking approach (b) Develop a broader understanding of the term food security, beyond the current focus on separate sectors of agricultural production and manufacturing, to that of a complex multidisciplinary multiscale issue 2. To identify other significant integrated research, initiatives and activities on food security in Australia to: (a) Scope a set of issues relevant to the future of food in Australia within a ‘food system’ framework (b) Develop recommendations for further research into food security, as it relates to agricultural production, rural industries and communities (c) Assess the opportunities and constraints to progressing a national holistic approach to food security (d) To provide guidance on further research to support the development of an integrated national food plan Outcomes: 1. An understanding of the complex linkages and drivers of emerging issues relevant to national food security in Australia as a multi scale issue 2. Increased capacity for rural industries to contribute effectively to the development of a proposed integrated national food policy 3. Proposed further research activities relevant to RIRDC’s strategic directions for Food Security within the Global Challenges Research Priorities

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Monday, May 16, 2011

Project Completion Date

Friday, March 30, 2012

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Safeguarding Australia

National Priority

Advanced Technology

National Priority

NRI-National Rural Issues