Everything You Need to Know About Food Futures 2021

Food Futures 2021 takes place in Darwin, Northern Territory from 17 to 20 May 2021. The Northern Australia Food Futures Conference is a top event in the development of agriculture in the North. It helps to put the agriculture of this part of Australia on the map.

Attendees at the conference include politicians, investors, and industry stakeholders as well as stakeholders from the community. This year they will be treated to a program that is centred on the theme of Development and the Environment with particular emphasis on new sectors like cotton. Speakers will discuss topics including the current environmental framework, the impact that farming has on the environment, and the increase in sustainable agriculture in the North.

Key points

  • Food Futures 2021 takes place in Darwin, Northern Territory from 17 to 20 May 2021.
  • This year the theme is Development and the Environment.
  • Food Futures 2021 is sponsored by The Northern Territory Government.
  • Group and individual registration for the conference is now available online.

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What to expect at Food Futures 2021

This year’s conference is the fourth since the biennial event was first held in 2014. It will help investors and those working within the industry to understand how to profit from agriculture while also protecting the environment. It will also provide valuable networking opportunities.

Food Futures 2021 is sponsored by The Northern Territory Government with the aim of supporting growth and development in the area and six ministers are attending the conference. There will also be around 250 participants and more than 50 speakers.

Food Futures 2021 Program

There are several program highlights awaiting attendees this year.

The Welcome Reception is on Monday 17 May. It is hosted by the Hon Nicole Manison, Minister for Agribusiness and takes place from 1730 –1900 at Parliament House. This part of the conference is by invitation only.

The full program for the conference starts on Tuesday 18 Tuesday.

Highlights of this day include:

  •       Conference opening by Hon Nicole Manison MLA.
  •       Conference welcome by Simon Smith, President NT Farmers Association and Fritz Bolten, Chairman ORDCO .
  •       Discussion about how development approvals can be done better chaired by Paul Burke, CEO, NT Farmers Association and involving Ray Hall from EcOz Consulting, Luis De Rocha from the Department of the Environment, and Chris Mitchell from Seafarms Group.
  •       Discussion about the development of irrigation systems involving John Madden from the Australian Government Productivity Commission and Richard Gardener from the Tasmania Southern Midlands Irrigation Scheme.
  •       A farm visit including farms and developments such as Export Hub and Darwin Port.
  •       NBN Industry Night at Barramundi Adventures.

Highlights of the program on Wednesday 19 May are:

  •       The Northern Territory Young Farmers Breakfast.
  •       Four workshops taking place concurrently over two sessions and discussing, the clearing of land to meet emissions, flows in irrigation and the environment, improved approvals processes, and indigenous perspectives in the development of agriculture.

There are four concurrent sessions in the program for Thursday 20 May.

  •       Horticulture chaired by Anthony Kachenko from Hort Innovation.
  •       Grains chaired by Ken Young, Chair GRDC.
  •       Cotton chaired by Bruce Connolly, Chair of the Northern Cotton Growers group.
  •       Emerging crops chaired by Michael Beer from Agrifutures Australia.

The full program for Food Futures 2021 is available to view online.



This year’s conference follows on from the events in 2014, 2016, and 2018 in providing insight into the development of the agriculture industry in the North with consideration of the effect on the environment. Farmers who are succeeding in sustainable growth share their experiences with those attending.

This means that attending the conference is a valuable opportunity to understand how to contribute to the growth of agriculture across the Gulf and Cape of Queensland, the Ord and West Kimberley of Western Australia and the Northern Territory in a sustainable way.

Group and individual registration for the conference is now available online.

For more information
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