Agriculture ministers across the country have signed Australian state and federal governments up to develop the sector's first co-ordinated plan to tackle climate change.
The Agricultural Minister's Council agreed to co-operate on a work program to support adaptation to climate change, and to manage the sector's emissions.
The work will be shared between the state and federal governments and will focus on supporting producers to build resilience against changing climactic conditions.
The climate adaption initiative has been in the works for more than a year, after the Ministerial Council commissioned a report from the Victorian government in April last year.
Victoria's report focused on the need for information to improve on-farm decisions and risk management, research and development to support adaptation, new business models to build financial resilience to climate change, and preparing for increased biosecurity, pest, and disease impacts under climate change.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the climate commitment would support producers through significant new challenges.
"As climate change becomes an increasing threat to our agriculture sector, we are proud to be leading this national work and letting Australian producers know that their governments are backing them," Ms Symes said.
"The science on climate change is clear and we'll work with farmers and their communities to manage the risks it poses to our agriculture sector."
The work program will be overseen by the Agriculture Senior Officials' Committee, which is comprised of the leaders of federal, state, territory and New Zealand primary industry agencies.
The Ministerial Council also made incremental progress on its prior commitment to a National Drought Agreement, which aims to deliver consistent support policies across the country.
Ag ministers will meet in a drought affected community before the end of the year, and provide an update on progress toward a national drought policy.
Ministers also noted the Queensland and federal government investigations of alleged animal cruelty at a Queensland horse slaughtering facility, and discussed a national approach to the management of retired race horses.
They agreed that further action is needed to ensure consumers are not being misled about plant-based foods that mimic meat and dairy products.
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