2021 Conference

The Crawford Fund Annual Conference

Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus

13-14 December 2021, Canberra

The Crawford Fund’s annual conference is a highlight of Australia’s agricultural development and food security calendar. For almost 30 years we have drawn significant focus to issues worthy of global and Australian attention.

Making the 2020 conference not possible, and overarching the 2021 event, was the coronavirus pandemic. However, even outside of such extreme circumstances, the vast increase in and growing complexity of international trade, travel, tourism and density of development have placed ever growing challenges on maintaining plant and animal biosecurity, halting the rapid spread of infectious diseases and strengthening the protection of biodiversity.

Our hybrid conference explored the specific risks to plant, animal, and human health, how these factors are putting global food and nutrition security in peril, and the emerging technological and management solutions to overcome these threats. Download the conference proceedings. (high res version 27mb)

In keeping with COVID-restrictions, our international speakers were streamed live for their presentations and Q&A. All Australian speakers were present, and we again produced an opportunity for those from development, research, academia, the private sector, primary production, NGO and advocacy groups, and from decision and policy-making to come together at what is the most significant networking event in agriculture for development. We also offered the opportunity for those not able to attend in person to attend virtually, making it possible for a broader international audience to benefit from the discussion.

With our conference being followed by the UN Food Systems Summit, the UN Climate Change Conference and the Nutrition for Growth Summit, our emphasis was on food systems, but we also saw as important the way in which food production systems interact with human health in terms of zoonotic diseases and their spread.  We also focused on biodiversity as important in that natural systems may provide a reservoir of information and resources that can be used to develop solutions for future proofing society against emerging risks.

At our specially designed conference networking dinner on 13 December, we were proud to have the Sir John Crawford Memorial address presented by Dr Agnes Kalibata, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit and President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. The Vote of Thanks was presented by Fiona Simson GAICD, Chair, Commission for International Agricultural Research and President, National Farmers’ Federation.

On 14 December, our full-day event was held at the QT Hotel, Canberra.

The event brought together leading international and Australian thinkers and practitioners for an interactive day that included:

  • Keynote presentations from eminent international, public and private sector experts.
  • Targeted overview presentations on the status quo and innovative policy and development project options that address a set of significant nexus issues, highlighting where action is needed or underway around biosecurity, health and trade.
  • A set of examples of impact delivered as case studies in short, rapid-fire presentations by leading researchers across industries, global regions and agricultural sectors.

By providing extended question and answer sessions and opportunities for informal networking, the Fund’s annual conference allows participants to contribute and to place these nexus issues into a context relevant to their lives and work.

Our conference audience included views from science, agriculture, politics, business and civil society to help focus our attention on the way forward.

We look forward to seeing you at our 2022 conference and hope that the focus on these significant issues improves understanding and appreciation on future directions to ensure food and nutrition security in an increasingly inter-connected world.