Australian food security mission to China

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

University of Adelaide researchers will next week lead a group mission to China to discuss issues impacting on food security for both nations.

Experts from the University of Adelaide in economics and social sciences will begin a series of meetings in Beijing on Tuesday 23 April with the Chinese Centre for Agricultural Policy (part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and other agencies.

Funded by the Federal Government, the group mission aims to define priority issues, and to scope and build relationships needed to undertake pressing research into food security that is critical for both Australia and China.

Among the issues to be discussed are trade and investment in agriculture, health and nutrition, climate change technology, and the impact of demographic and social changes on food security and sustainability.

"Few global challenges are as critical as food security," says economist Professor Christopher Findlay AM, Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions at the University of Adelaide, who is leading the group mission.

"China faces significant challenges in food production, but national supply issues are only part of the bigger picture. International trade and efficiently functioning markets play an important role in meeting growing food demands - and this is true for both Australia and China.

"It's clear that research on the design and implementation of policy to best achieve food security is urgently required. Our group mission will seek to propose collaborative food security research projects, to offer China new views and options for food security, and to further Australia's participation in the food and agricultural policy debate in China."

Associate Professor Wendy Umberger, Director of Global Food Studies at the University of Adelaide, says: "There are many shared needs between our nations, not only the need for cooperation to increase productivity in agriculture, but also on the understanding of the drivers of demand and supply, and the roles of technologies in food security.

"Our analysis must consider opportunities for public-private cooperation to address broad food security issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, population growth and redistribution, competing demands on land and water, shifts in production distribution, changes in income, and the impact of restrictive trade and investment policies.

"Working together on these issues will have great benefits for both countries and for global food security."


Contact Details

Professor Wendy Umberger
Executive Director, Centre for Global Food and Resources
Faculty of the Professions
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7263
Mobile: 0405 990 465

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762