The beginning of the food chain’sthe agricultural and fisheries sector. Agriculture refers to cultivating landto produce crops or animals such as wheat and cattle.
Plant production involvessowing seeds and fertilising. Furthermore, meat production’s concerned with breedingand treating illnesses and disease. Fisheries refer to commercial or scientificcold blooded and aquatic species production within a wet environment. Contrastingly,aquaculture involves cultivating aquatic animals and plants such as seaweed throughcontrolled breeding programs such as, fish farms. The agriculture and fisheriessector’s operations have impacted individuals immensely. The AFI contributes to (or acknowledges)consumer changing needs and wants by producing different foods and adhering tofood trends. An example of a food trend associates with the health conscious, desiringto know product’s health and nutrition status.
Businesses within theagriculture and fisheries industry increase manufacturing healthy products suchas enriched calcium milk. Furthermore, the industry sector promotionallyutilizes labelling such as the health star rating on products to entice thehealth-conscious market; more stars the healthier within the product category.These promotional implementations can ensure diet-related diseases such asobesity decrease by influencing individual’s decisions. Health attentiveconsumers yearning functional foods, active lifestyles and attain limitedcooking skills ensured the industry produces quick, easy, individually servedand nutritionally enhanced, pre-prepared foods.
The sector’s also influencingAustralian society. Multiculturalism within society, through migration andtravel, have increased food choices, enabling cultural diversity within foodsand ensuring Australian cuisine’s difficult to recognise; greatly consisting ofEuropean and Asian flavours which reflect consumer food options withinsupermarkets. Furthermore, food production affects Australian eating patterns. Thevast variety of food available within contemporary Australia means individualsattain responsibility to make healthy decisions; health-related issues such asobesity and added preservatives are common. Thus, the industry needs to assistconsumers’ food selection through easily understandable labelling; for example,clearly listed ingredients, nutritional information and informed advertising. Thesector’s environmental operations also affect Australia’s overall health; theindustry largely uses fossil fuels and produces poisonous waste. Resulting in waterpollution, ecosystem damage and soil degradation; impacting the number of cropsand animals produced and food types consumed.
Comprehensively, lifestylechanges have resulted from the sector’s operations with the evolution of foodmanufacturing influencing lifestyles. Additionally, Australia’senvironment’s affected. Conventional farming utilises herbicides to controlweeds, insecticides, chemicals to prevent diseases, growth regulators andfertilizers. Consequently, long-term environmental damage such as infertility,salinity and soil degradation through chemical use and land clearing’s apparent.Manufacturing and transport emissions, and packaging and storage processes emitfossil fuels, contributing to air pollution, atmospheric carbon dioxide andclean water. Alternatively, greater consideration’s given to farming techniqueswhich consider erosion, soil degradation and chemical use and are prevalentwithin organic farming; such as, crop rotation.
Organic farming’s chemical-free,plant and animal production procedures, aiming to maintain and improve soil fertilityand organic matter in soil. A food product cannot be labelled as ‘organic’ unlessthe product adheres to requirements such as, produced without syntheticfertilisers. Organic produce’s certified by organisations authorised by theAustralian Quarantine and Inspection Service or AQUIS; ensuring members complywith the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. Despite organicfarming positives, negatives include, organic farms are usually smaller andproduce lower yields than conventional farming.