Historic win for farmers: Fiona Simson elected WFO Vice President

21 June 2024

The National Farmers’ Federation is proud to announce immediate past President Fiona Simson has been elected as World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) Vice President.

The NFF nominated Ms Simson who was subsequently elected at the WFO General Assembly in Rome. President David Jochinke, who is in Rome at the event with NFF CEO Tony Mahar, said this was a significant moment for “Team Australia”. It’s believed Ms Simson is the first Australian representative to be elected at this level. “This elevates the NFF’s voice at the table, ensuring Australian farmers will be heard in international conversations on global agricultural policy and how food and fibre are produced in Australia,” Mr Jochinke said. “Issues such as climate change, deforestation, animal welfare and agvet chemicals are influencing the policy agendas across the globe.

These are all issues of critical concern to Australian farmers and we have to make sure global policymakers and markets understand them in the Australian context. “The WFO’s growing influence with powerful bodies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Trade Organization and the United Nations, heightens the need for Australian representation. “It’s why we are here at the WFO, and to have representation at a high level through Fiona, it gives Australian farmers a powerful platform to influence global ag policy.”

Read more: Tasmanian Government removes barriers for farmers providing worker housing

Ms Simson has previously served on the WFO’s women and youth committees, and in the past year has been the Oceania representative on the WFO Board. 
“Farmers are at the forefront of the big issues facing the world, like climate change, food security and sustainability,” Ms Simson said. “There are many competing voices on these issues, but it’s critical farmers present a united front and show global policymakers we can be part of the solution.”

About the WFO and NFF’s involvement
The WFO is comprised of agricultural bodies from across the globe with membership organised into six regional constituencies: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, Latin America and North America. The General Assembly is its highest decision-making body. The NFF will present at the WFO on the Australian Agricultural Sustainability Framework, an initiative led by the NFF and supported by the Federal Government to provide international trading partners on how Australia’s agricultural production aligns with international climate and sustainability initiatives.  

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