Introduction: The Food Security Problem in Australia

Quentin Farmar Bowers, Vaughan Higgins, Joanne Millar

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)


Economic and population growth, changing attitudes to biodiversity conservation, and the pressure of climate change on native biodiversity (Lindenmayer et al. 2010), also have implications for food security by increasing competition for resources, such as land and water (Alston and Whittenbury 2011; Carey et al. 2011). Consequently, the food production status of Australia will change and food security, including dietary issues, is likely to become increasingly important for Australians. In order to contextualize Australia's food security challenges, and how a more sustainable, resilient and equitable food system might be created, we need an appreciation of global food security issues.The purpose of this book is to critically examine food security issues in Australia, a country that is often assumed to be food secure. Australia, although a substantial producer of agricultural products, currently has many citizens suffering food insecurity (Temple 2008) and a growing number with diet-related health problems (AIHW 2010). Governments see diet issues as important social and economic problems because: 'Many diet-related chronic diseases ....are the major cause of death and disability among Australians ....Poor nutrition is responsible for around 16% of the total burden of disease and is implicated in more than 56% of all deaths in Australia' (NHMRC 2011a p 7). In addition to health-related food insecurities, a range of other pressures impact increasingly on the cost of food as well as its production. For example, globalization exposes food supply systems in Australia to rising resource prices as world demand increases. Australia's agricultural production is not immune to the negative aspects of climate change. Indeed Garnaut maintains that Australian agricultural and resource industries are likely to be affected profoundly by climate change and the global response to it (Garnaut 2010 p9).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood Security in Australia
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Prospects for the Future
EditorsVaughan Higgins Quentin Farmar- Farmar-Bowers, Joanne Millar Joanne Millar
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781461444831
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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