What we do

The Department of Agriculture aims to enhance the sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of Australia's agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry industries.

Planned outcomes

The department has two planned outcomes for 2013-14:

  • Outcome 1: More sustainable, productive, internationally competitive and profitable Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries through policies and initiatives that promote better resource management practices, innovation, self-reliance and improved access to international markets.
  • Outcome 2: Safeguard Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and environment from the impact of exotic pests and diseases, through risk assessment, inspection and certification, and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries. 

Role and functions

To achieve our planned outcomes, the department is active throughout the entire supply chain, from producer to consumer. We:

  • work with the Australian Government to develop and deliver policies and programs that help our agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry industries
  • protect Australia's agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry industries by providing quarantine and inspection services and export certification that maintains our favourable pest and disease status 
  • protect and develop the natural resource base that portfolio industries rely on 
  • negotiate access to international markets for our animals, plants and associated products 
  • provide independent research, policy analysis, forecasts and advice on economic issues affecting our agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry industries 
  • provide independent scientific advice, social analysis and science-based quarantine and policy advice 
  • represent the Australian Government at international meetings relating to agriculture, food, fisheries and forestry.

The department is one of several bodies in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry portfolio.

Administrative Arrangements Order

The Administrative Arrangements Order made by the Governor-General specifies the functions of Departments of State. The Administrative Arrangements Order describes the matters the department deals with and lists the legislation administered by the Minister for Agriculture.

More about what we do

For more information about what we do, see the following pages: