Climate change, rising fuel costs, water shortages: now experts are warning Australia's food producers have a new crisis to consider: Food Insecurity.
When the FAO Cereal Price Index doubled in the year to April 2008, food security became a global crisis, sparking riots in 30 countries, including many tottering on the brink of severe shortages or widespread hunger.
The World Bank estimates that food inflation during that period pushed an additional 100 million people into deep poverty, on top of a billion that were already scraping by on less than a dollar a day.
Last year, $826 million worth of food came into the country while $749 million worth went out.
Most comes from New Zealand, but increasingly garlic, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and corn are being sourced from China.
Sustainable agricultural expert at the University of Sydney Bill Billotti has also been advocating for a food policy.
"We don't currently have a national food policy in Australia and so our approach is fragmented. We stick food in agriculture, we stick food in health, we deal with food in environment but we're not getting that across-discipline view, wholistic view of food," he told SBS.
Rising food prices in recent years have made it more difficult for Australians to access fresh food, which is often more expensive than fast food alternatives.
"There's absolutely no doubt that food, some food, is becoming more expensive, some food is going to become more rare and some almost extinct if we carry on the way we do," OzHarvest's Ronni Khan told SBS.
The Director of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab Professor Chris Ryan says we need to look for alternative and innovative approaches to dealing with resource scarcity and environmental change.
"Over the next few decades the way people obtain their food, water and energy will undergo a major evolution," he said.
“One pathway we can see is people no longer relying on industrial production units hundreds or thousands of kilometres, or even continents, away. Instead they will source a greater proportion of essential resources, goods and services from within their 'neighbourhood',” Professor Chris Ryan said.
“This evolution means a significant switch in people's role within the economy and in their identity as citizens, moving from one of passive consumption to a more active engagement in production and exchange of economic and social capital,” he added.