Presentation on theme: "A GM case study – building community capital Paula Fitzgerald Trade and Strategy."— Presentation transcript:
A GM case study – building community capital Paula Fitzgerald Trade and Strategy
William Farrer Born in 1845 Began studying medicine – moved to Australia at 25 - tutor at sheep station – qualified as surveyor (Department of Lands) – moved to a farm – became a wheat experimentalist with the Department of Agriculture Believed the types of wheat grown were unsuitable for Australian conditions In 1882 he began selecting individual plants which showed superior qualities. This soon included foreign wheats – relied on overseas correspondence/networks Aimed to improve rust resistance and baking quality (focus on the latter, as well as agronomic, was unique) Viewed by some as wasting time on “pocket handkerchief wheat plots” Millers initially resisted … “ Father of Australian wheat” – for contribution to wheat quality & yield; but also science.
Global GM statistics - cultivation 18 years old million hectares of GM crops were planted in fold increase from 1996 when GM crops were first commercialised 28 countries grew GM crops in 2012 – 20 developing countries and 8 industrial million farmers grew GM crops in Over 90% of these, or 15 million farmers, are in resource-poor countries. Five EU countries (Spain, Portugal, Czechia, Slovakia and Romania) planted GM insect resistant corn.
GM crops under development in Australia Most commodities in Australia have GM investments. The OGTR has granted licences for field trials of GM: Banana Barley Canola Cotton Lupins Pineapple Safflower Sugarcane Ryegrass Wheat White clover (carnations)
Most advanced Australian R&D EntityLicenceCropDetails BSESDIR 96 (2009) SugarcaneHerbicide tolerance BSESDIR 95 (2009) SugarcaneAltered plant growth, enhanced drought tolerance, enhanced nitrogen use efficiency, altered sucrose accumulation, and improved cellulosic ethanol production from sugarcane biomass UQDIR 78 (2008) SugarcaneAltered sugar production BSESDIR 70 (2007) SugarcaneAltered plant architecture, enhanced water or improved nitrogen use efficiency UQDIR 51 (2005) SugarcaneExpressing sucrose isomerase EntityLicenceCropDetails Vic DPIDIR 89 (2008) White cloverAMV resistant Vic DPIDIR 82 (2007) Ryegrass & tall fescue Improved forage qualities Vic DPIDIR 47 (2003) White cloverAMV resistant
GM ryegrass? What? High energy (high fructan) ryegrass How? Two additional ryegrass genes have been added – storage of sugar in the leaf and the stem It is different to other ‘high sugar’ grasses as it has a higher energy content without any yield penalties. Should allow for a reduction in other energy sources (wheat, barley) So what? Modelling suggests $300 per hectare per year – equating to at peak use (of 70%) $196 million annual benefit
What do our consumers think? Males, younger people and those who live in capital cities are more likely to accept GM foods. People are more supportive of GM foods that have health outcomes or are cheaper, and find lasting longer or tasting better only a minor benefit. Support for GM foods and crops has remained fairly consistent over the past few years, with about 60 per cent of the population willing to eat most GM foods and about 25 per cent not willing. However this figure changes depending on the type of food being modified, whether there are benefits to the consumer and perception of effective regulation. Australian concerns about GM foods are not top of mind.
GM opponents – celebrities, costumes, chaos!
Farm business fitness Management capability and tactical flexibility Cost control Efficient utilisation of home grown feed High levels of labour efficiency Business structure – debt related to production costs
Potential challenges GM crops/GM pasture Water Animal welfare Sustainable land use/practices Healthiness of our product
What is “community capital”? “Social licence” People Community Local and global Connectedness – family, neighbours, community, governments TRUST Freedom to Operate Transparent dialogue Listening Building relationships through strategic engagement
Aussie kids What kids know about agriculture: 1. 58% of city children didn’t know that cotton comes from a plant 2. Almost half the children surveyed didn’t know that pasta comes from wheat 3. 81% of children didn’t know that leather products come from cattle 4. 50% of city kids think farmers never use computers or fax machines 5. Almost one in every three city children are completely unsure about why farmers use pesticides Source: Kondinin Group
Aussie kids – 2011 Understanding of agriculture: 1.75% of year 6 students thought cotton socks were an animal product 2.45% could not identify that everyday lunchbox items originated from a farm – bananas, bread and cheese 3.40% of year 10 students believe farming damages the environment 4.28% of year 10 students thought natural fibres only came from plants 5.Only 57% of students linked scientific research to farming 6.Only 45% of students linked innovation to farming Source: Primary Industries Education Foundation
UK Kids... “Rhubarb is like carrots, it’s what kangaroos eat. Sometimes they grow on trees without seeds” “A lemon is from Birmingham and it grows in the ground and that’s a kiwi it grows in the ground and it’s from Jamaica” “The white bread is made with milk and the brown bread is made with wheat”
Profile? Peter Waterhouse the Victor Chang Medal; 2003 The Bulletin's 'Top Ten Smartest Scientists in Australia’; 2005 CSIRO Chairman's Medal; 2007 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science. Key area of work: gene silencing – plants (viruses/plant health), animals and medicine
The GM DAIRY story PLANT CELL DNA carrying new gene with plant chromosome PLANT WITH NEW TRAIT More sugar/ higher energy REGENRATTION OF PLANT REGULATORY SCRUTINY AND APPROVALS HAPPY COW EATS ‘HIGH ENERGY’ PASTURE MORE MILK REWARDED FARMER MILK ON SHELVES Milk is milk! Five essential elements for community support: Developed by a trustworthy public agency Includes a gene from the same species Has a consumer benefit Is labelled or differentiated Has strong evidence of safety/regulation
Global grassroots support
Aussie GM canola support Grains Council of Australia Flour Millers’ Council of Australia
Build dairy community capital?
Our story … Australian dairy is a $13 billion farm, manufacturing and export industry. Australia’s 6700 dairy farmers produce around 9.5 billion litres of milk a year. The Australian dairy industry directly employs 43,000 Australians on farms and in factories, while more than 100,000 Australians are indirectly employed in related service industries. Australia is the fourth largest dairy exporter in the world, accounting for 7% of global trade. Australia would save $2 billion a year in healthcare costs if every Australian consumed the minimum recommended daily dairy intake. Dairy farmers are environmental caretakers. The industry has a strong record of continuous improvement in water and energy efficiency, and protecting soils and biodiversity.
Further information Paula Fitzgerald Manager Biotechnology & Strategic Initiatives Dairy Australia Tel:
A national approach? NSW: Moratorium on commercial cultivation of GM food crops. ‘System’ for agriculture minister to grant approval. GM cotton & canola grown WA: Moratorium on all GM crops. GM cotton (in the Ord) & canola grown by exemption QLD: OGTR legislation only. GM cotton grown Vic: OGTR legislation only. GM canola grown NT: OGTR legislation only SA: Moratorium on commercial cultivation of GM food crops until 2019 Tas: Moratorium on commercial cultivation of all GM crops. (Government has just announced indefinite extension) ACT: Moratorium on commercial cultivation of all GM crops until The Federal Regulator – the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) – oversees human health and safety, and safety of the environment in relation to GM products, while State Governments make decisions on ‘market and trade’ grounds.
Market choice (GM canola model) StepActionStatus 1Australian regulatory approval gained for GM varieties 2Market requirements identified -Need for segregation to meet the various requirements of domestic and international consumers 3Threshold levels established -Australian AP thresholds established for the presence of GM traits in canola at 0.5% for seed(Australian Seed Federation) and 0.9% for grain (NACMA CSO1 Canola standard) -AP thresholds established in key trading partners, such as Japan (5%) and Europe (0.9%), for contractual or labelling purposes 4Importing market approvals in place -GM varieties have approvals in key importing countries 5Supply chain processes to meet market requirements -Protocols available to segregate throughout the supply chain 29 supply chain organisations endorsed GM canola commercialisation as a result of the following: