Geopolitics shape the world we live and work in. Right now, the geopolitical landscape is changing with a speed and depth we have not experienced in our lifetimes.

Geopolitical mega-trends, namely, structural shifts in the international system, rising domestic political unrest, technological transformation, and climate change, are all in unprecedented motion, and are all being accelerated by COVID-19.

In Australia, the agriculture industry is particularly impacted by geopolitics. It is inextricably interconnected with the global market.

This analysis will explore how these geopolitical mega-trends could affect the Australian agricultural industry, generating both opportunities and risks

Four key geopolitical themes affecting Australian agriculture


Shifts in the international system.



A rise in domestic political unrest.



Technological transformation.



Climate change.



Key insights:

  • The strong international focus of Australian agriculture both drives growth opportunities, and exposes the sector to significant geopolitical risk.
  • Four geopolitical mega-trends are particularly affecting the agriculture industry: structural shifts in the international system; rising domestic political unrest; technological transformation; and climate change.
  • Critical components of success in agricultural trade are affected by geopolitics and these trends – including input control/availability, tariff and non-tariff barriers, consumer demand and preferences, and land productivity.

The Australian agriculture sector in focus

Agriculture is an important contributor to the Australian economy, worth $68 billion at farmgate in 2018-19 across crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry, and employing 330,000 individuals in these industries. 19 million hectares of Australia’s landmass is dedicated to agricultural production, driving the nation’s reputation as a dependable producer of high-quality foods.

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