Farm animals like goats and cattle are increasingly used as feed in Australia’s new organic food revolution, with farmers now able to grow their own food and feed it to their animals.
Key points: More than half of Australian farmers now produce food with the help of farm animals, according to research from the University of NSW The university said organic farming is becoming more mainstream and popular The research also found organic farming may be growing in popularity due to increased demand for food in developing countries The new food revolution will take decades to make a difference in Australia, the research said.
The research, conducted by the University’s Food Research Institute (FRI) and the University and College of New South Wales (UCSW), said a combination of climate change, food shortages and increased demand were likely to play a key role in increasing the availability of organic food in Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more than half (55 per cent) of Australian households reported they had some organic food, which has increased from 46 per cent in the 2015 census.
But the study found that about half of all organic food production in Australia is now going to be to farm animals.
“The use of animals in Australia for food production has increased in recent years due to a combination with climate change and a general decline in meat consumption,” FRI’s head of research, Dr Rachel Toulton, said.
“In the short term, we can see that farmers are more likely to use animals to feed their livestock, but the longer term we see this trend shift to a more traditional farming approach.”
We’ve seen a rise in the number of Australian consumers using food grown in the farm, and this trend has been evident in terms of organic meat and dairy.
“A number of farmers are now able use animals for feed in their production, which is likely to drive up demand for the food.”
The study found more than 90 per cent of Australian farms now had a mix of organic and conventional farming in their operation.
The report also found that the popularity of organic farming was increasing.
About half of organic farms in Australia produce their own produce.
“While these farmers are using animals for food, they are also looking to the farmers who are already in their industry to support their food production,” Dr Toulterton said.
Professor Tim Jervis from the Australian National University said organic food would have a long-term impact on Australia’s food system.
“Organic farming is likely the future, but we need to look at how it will be managed for the long term and to make sure that we are not left behind,” he said.
‘More people want organic’ More than 60 per cent (60 per cent), or about 4.4 million people, now consume organic food at least once a week, according the UN.
Professor Jervas said this would help boost demand for organic food to offset the lack of organic produce available in the market.
Professor Toulson said farmers who have adopted organic farming are likely to continue to do so for a number of reasons, including better yields, a higher quality of feed and higher environmental performance.
“We know that a lot of our organic food is still coming from animals that are raised in very harsh environments,” she said.
Dr Tontons research found organic farmers are increasingly using animals to produce their produce.
About 45 per cent use horses, pigs and chickens.
About one-quarter of organic farmers use pigs, while the other 25 per cent rely on cattle.
About a third of organic farm animals are raised on the same farms.
“This trend will be driven by a combination, of climate changes, food scarcity and demand for animal products, including meat and eggs,” Professor Tonton said.
“However, while this trend is already occurring, it is also likely to be increasing in the near future, with an increasing demand for sustainable, locally grown food in many countries, including Australia.”
Organic farming is now becoming more popular in Australia The research showed organic farming had become more mainstream in Australia in the last few years, with organic food making up more than a third (37 per cent or 2.3 million people) of the countrys organic food market.
It also found the trend has had a positive impact on the country’s environment.
Professor Rianna Kost, from the UCSW’s Food Institute, said the trend of farmers choosing organic farming as a method of production was good news for Australia.
“If you think about the global trends, it’s good news that Australia is following the trends, as the trend towards organic food has been rising in the world,” she told ABC Radio’s Today program.
Ms Kost said the increased use of organic crops in Australia was due to the country being “a major exporter of organic goods”.
“There’s more of an interest in sustainable farming and more people want it in Australia,” she added.
The growing demand for a wider range of organic foods is likely due to an increase in demand for healthy and local food