Diversity key to agriculture economy growth: Littleproud

The appointment of Frances-Anne Keeler as Wine Australia Director bumps female representation on agriculture portfolio boards to 50.4 per cent.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, welcomed Keeler’s appointment, which is expected to support the Wine Australia board in effectively carrying out its operations.

“I congratulate Ms Keeler on her well-deserved appointment and look forward to working together to deliver improvements across Australia’s wine industry,” said Littleproud.

The appointment also brings about an important milestone, with the proportion of women on agriculture-, fisheries- and forestry-related government boards rising above 50 per cent for the first time.

“Increasing the representation of women to 50 per cent on government boards was a priority of mine when I first became Agriculture Minister in 2017,” said Littleproud.

“Ms Keeler has extensive experience across multiple sectors and is well recognised for her capacity in providing leadership and oversight of customer experience and stakeholder relations.”

Littleproud said the Australian Government is proud to continue working in partnership with Wine Australia to link innovative research with industry needs, and strive for a profitable, internationally competitive and ecologically sustainable wine industry.

“I acknowledge the work and congratulate Senator McKenzie for her commitment to lift those numbers while Agriculture Minister,” he said.

Littleproud thanked all of the 67 women who are providing him advice as Agricultural Minister.

“From Dr Kate Andrews who is helping the government decide on priorities to fund under our $5 billion Future Drought Fund, to Dr Anne Astin who is contributing her scientific expertise to improve our agricultural and veterinary chemicals legislation,” he said. “We need these female leaders, and their diverse ideas and approaches, to ensure we can grow agriculture to $100 billion by 2030.”

In other news, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is driving a three-month inquiry into bargaining power in supply chains for perishable agricultural products in Australia.

Meanwhile, everyone in the wine supply chain will be subject to Chain of Responsibility obligations under a new Registered Industry Code of Practice.

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