2014 ANNUAL PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE

ETHICS, EFFICIENCY AND FOOD SECURITY:

Feeding The 9 Billion, Well

26-28 August 2014

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We believe that ideas and scenarios of varying quality, relevance and precision have entered the global food security debate; a clutter and diversity of views appear in journals, conferences, and particularly the media. Quite often, these ideas are presented as scientific fact when, in fact, they are not. The array and noise may be crowding out the quintessence: the need to increase global food production in ways that are ethical, efficient, and profitable for farmers, consumers and the environment."

John Kerin
The Hon John Kerin AM, Chairman, The Crawford Fund

 

The Crawford Fund’s annual conference on food security, which holds a key place in the development and food security calendar in Australia, was held from 26-28 August in Parliament House, Canberra. The title for this year’s event “Ethics, Efficiency and Food Security: Feeding The 9 Billion, Well” focussed on a range of vital issues facing the developing world and Australia in efforts to produce more food in an ethical and efficient way.

Conference downloads:

The Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conference has for more than two decades managed to bring to focus an array of issues just as they are coming to world and Australian attention. By attracting the world’s best speakers, providing an extended question and answer session and opportunities for informal exchanges, the Fund’s conferences enable participants both to contribute and to place the issues into a context relevant and useful to their lives and work. This year was no exception.

Conference panel photoIn selecting a focus for our 2014 Conference, we were initially inclined to a topic around gender and food security or women in agriculture. Our Board, however, felt that the importance of women in agriculture could be covered well throughout the program rather than as a stand alone topic, and something that was less well recognised was the role of women in agricultural R&D and in agricultural policy. So, we had a majority of female speakers at this conference across topics that range from economics, population, competition for resources and advanced technologies, chosen not because they are women but because they were the top of their field.

Our speakers in 2014 included:

  • Ms Rachel Kyte, World Bank Group Vice President and Special Envoy for Climate Change
  • Prof Catherine Bertini, Senior Fellow, Global Agricultural Development Initiative, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; former Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (1992-2002)
  • Dr Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Mr Luke Chandler, General Manager, Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
  • Dr Helen Szoke, Chief Executive, Oxfam Australia