11 - 13 November 2025 | Royal International Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia

Media Release

4 October 2022

Driving food security through sustainability

The growing global focus on sustainably produced food is a huge opportunity for Australia, according to the Australian Government’s Special Representative for Australian Agriculture, Su McCluskey.

On 31 October 2022, Ms McCluskey, a cattle-farmer and agriculture leader, will speak at the TropAg conference about the potential for global agricultural trade to drive sustainable agricultural production.  

Ms McCluskey said TropAg provides the perfect opportunity to profile the relationship between free and open trade settings, sustainable production and its relevance to agricultural production in the tropics.

“With a growing global population, trade is increasingly important for global food security,” Ms McCluskey said.

“Trade can also drive improvements to meet environmental and climate challenges.

“The agriculture sector is well placed to contribute to soil and landscape restoration, to biodiversity protection, to restoration of waterways as well as to the challenges of climate change.

“And increasingly, trading partners are asking for food and fibre imports to meet ‘sustainability’ standards.

“This is where Australian farmers and businesses have both a great opportunity as well as a challenge. We don’t want to see sustainability standards of one country becoming the proxy standard for the world.

“We need to demonstrate, communicate, and reflect in trade settings, the very important principle that there is no one size that fits all when it comes to sustainable production. What works in a field in France will not necessarily work in a paddock in Australia.

“One thing is clear; the world can’t afford prescriptive approaches to agricultural production which distort trade, hamper innovation, hamper better environment outcomes and, ultimately, risk the world’s access to food.

“I think the Australian industry is well on its way to meeting the challenge of defining, adopting and demonstrating sustainable production.

“But there are challenges around minimising the costs and complexity of being part of stewardship programs, challenges around the investment market landscape, challenges in data collection and verification.”

Su McCluskey’s plenary address at TropAg is aligned with the AgFutures conference theme led by the Queensland Government via the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The TropAg conference will be held from Monday 31 October until Wednesday 2 November 2022 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The conference is hosted by The University of Queensland in partnership with the Queensland Government via the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

TropAg is backed by generous sponsors including the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Illumina, Hort Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, AgriFutures, MineARC Systems, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility and many other organisations supporting as symposium sponsors, scholarship sponsors, exhibitors and media partners. View the full list of sponsors on the TropAg website.

Media contacts: Natalie MacGregor, n.macgregor@uq.edu.au, +61 (0)409 135 651 or media unit at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, media@agriculture.gov.au or (02) 6272 3232.

Photos available for download from Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/f5x3ggzfucl7df1ak39ly/h?dl=0&rlkey=jej85zbqi9j9li45puk6u3wax

Supporting information:
Global Agriculture Leadership Initiative https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/market-access-trade/global-agriculture-advocacy
TropAg website https://tropagconference.org/
TropAg conference program 
TropAg conference registration options 


11 – 13 November 2025 
Brisbane, Australia

Contact: qaaficomms@uq.edu.au

TropAg event organisers and affiliates acknowledge the Traditional Owners and their custodianship of the lands on which we meet. We pay our respects to their Ancestors and their descendants, who continue cultural and spiritual connections to Country. We recognise their valuable contributions to Australian and global society.

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