Byron Shire Sustainable Agriculture Strategy— A Greenprint for a Sustainable Future 1 Byron’s Sustainable Agriculture Strategy Byron Shire Council Did you know that Byron Shire has a Strategy that recognises and promotes sustainable agriculture? The Sustainable Agriculture Strategy contains guiding principles and actions to help achieve our vision of productive, profitable and diverse agricultural enterprises in Byron Shire. Tasks in the Strategy are being implemented by Council’s Sustainable Agriculture Officer, and guided by a group of local producers and community representatives. Byron Shire Council To get a copy of the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy contact our Sustainable Agriculture Officer, or go to our website. Station Street PO Box 219 Mullumbimby NSW 2482 Phone: 02 6626 7000 For more information go to: Fax: 02 6684 3018 www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Environment/SustainableAgriculture.html E-mail: email@example.com Snapshot of Agriculture in the Byron Shire The NSW North Coast region supports a wide range of agricultural activities, from intensive horticulture to broad acre cropping and grazing. Approximately 1 in 12 working people on the North Coast are employed in agriculture, and in the Byron Shire agriculture is the third largest source of income after tourism and contributes approximately $110 million to the Shire’s economy, particularly in the meat, milk, sugar and macadamia industries. A number of agricultural industries in the region have been established for many years, such as bananas, dairying, vegetables and sugar cane. But agriculture is a dynamic industry, and markets forces and other factors have opened the way for new enterprises such as coffee, macadamias, stonefruit and organic produce. The Shire’s natural environment is well suited to a variety of enterprises including sugar cane, macadamias and other nuts, limes, lemons, mandarins, oranges, avocadoes, mangoes, a range of vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchinis, marrows, - peaches, nectarines, coffee, cut flowers, herbs, bush foods, farm forestry as well as a range of animal production – dairies, pigs, beef cattle, poultry and so on. Production in the Shire is characterised by relatively small holdings involved in intensive production with over 53% of landholders involved in some form of horticulture. Producers are a diverse mix of people with some families who have been here for generations and more recent arrivals who have come for commercial and /or lifestyle reasons. The new farmers have often had previous occupations as professionals and are starting on their second or third career. The new growers come with new ideas and are particularly evident in the subtropical fruit and nut industries where they are using their professional and organisational skills. Very few farmers now receive 100% of their income from the farm and many farmers supplement income with off-farm jobs. Agriculture remains a major land use, but is under pressure for sub-division and increasing land values. Byron Shire’s Sustainable Agriculture Strategy has been developed to ensure agriculture stays a part of our landscape, economy and community.