Happy “New-sy Year” to you!

2018 has been a fantastic and productive period for the Crawford Fund and our communication and outreach efforts have reflected this busy and exciting year.

We have worked hard to present interesting and relevant good news stories to attract national media coverage for food and nutrition security and the work of the Fund.

Coverage has highlighted the efforts of Australian researchers, volunteers and students in agricultural research and development, as well as the work of international centres across numerous countries, commodities and disciplines.

We build opportunities for media attention through the public events we hold; the international experts we assist during visits to Australia; the media help we provide to our stakeholders and partners, and the programs we organise for journalist visits to developing countries.

“These journalist opportunities are a real highlight, as we believe that ‘seeing is believing’ visits result in coverage that is honest, effective and engaging for the audience,” said Cathy Reade, the Fund’s Director of Outreach.

“The coverage that results when Australian journalists are on the ground in a developing country is a particularly effective way to highlight the work underway to assist with food and nutrition security, and helps the journalists gain a better understanding of the mutual benefits to developing countries, to Australia and the Australians involved,” she added.

Steven Schubert, ABC, reporting from the Svalbard Seed Vault in the Arctic

Look back on much of Australia’s food security reporting with our list of media coverage here. And here’s just a snapshot of some of our 2018 highlights:

  • The Svalbard Seed Vault’s 10th Anniversary celebrations in March received considerable national TV, radio and online media coverage around Australia, particularly across ABC platforms, as ABC journalist Steven Schubert travelled with Cathy Reade to attend the celebrations. Seeds from 32,000 varieties of Australian grain and pasture crops are now housed in the vault to ensure their survival.
  • The opinion piece by our Chairman, The Hon John Anderson and CEO, Dr Colin Chartres, received attention arguing the case for new coalitions to battle under- and malnutrition the world over.
  • The importance of the humble spud was highlighted by a visit to Peru by Fairfax Regional’s Ashley Walmsley. While in Lima at the International Potato Center and in Cusco for the World Potato Congress, his blogs and videos highlighted not only the variety and importance of the humble potato, but the colour and warmth of the Peruvian culture and country. As part of his trip, Ashley filed The Spud Diaries, offering revealing insights into the role potatoes play in overseas agriculture and the work being done to make sure that research results in practical, on-farm results.
  • Reshaping Agriculture for Better Nutrition: The Agriculture, Food, Nutrition, Health Nexus,’ our annual conference, had a real social media buzz again this year. In addition, national TV, radio and print coverage focused on the range of issues related to improving nutrition, with many of the speakers helping our efforts by engaging in interviews.

2018 conference speaker, Jessica Fanzo, being interviewed on ABC TV news

We would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia India Committee; Council on Australia Latin America Relations; and Australia-ASEAN Council for grants which supported our journalist visits to Colombia, Peru, Mexico and India.

Thanks also to our partners who assist us develop engaging programs of interest to visiting journalists, including ACIAR and international centers – those involved this year have included CIMMYT, CIP, CIAT, ICRISAT, World Vegetable Center and Crop Trust.

We would also like to take this opportunity to once again congratulate Clarisa Collis as the winner of our Food Security Journalism Award in 2018, for her article, The poisoned plate of climate change.

Next year promises to be just as busy for us as we develop plans to share our training, mentoring, volunteering and outreach activities with you.

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