The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has applauded the Federal Government’s announcement on the extension of the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) to 30 September 2021.
“The Government has demonstrated it understands the serious supply chain challenges, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, confronting many export industries, including the agriculture sector,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“The IFAM Program and its extension is nothing short of a critical life-line for agricultural commodities that are heavily reliant on international airfreight to get to market.”
Mr Mahar said the Government had listened to industry’s concerns and recommendations and acted to extend the IFAM.
“Sectors such as the seafood industry, high value horticulture, and chilled meat are primarily reliant on airfreight, and the extension of the IFAM program gives these industries some breathing space to find alternate supply chains in the medium term.”
“The farming sector has dealt with bushfires, drought, trade disruptions and supply-chain breakdowns yet has demonstrated its absolute resilience in the face of these adversities.
“Just last week, ABARES forecast record farm production of $66 billion in 2020-2021.
“Today’s announcement provides the industry with some respite to plan for an uncertain but hopefully prosperous future.”