Simson elected vice-president of World Farmers' Organisation

21 June 2024
World Farmers' Organisation Vice President Fiona Simson. Pic: Supplied
An article by  Natasha Lobban

Fiona Simson has been elected as the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) Vice President, and is believed to be the first Australian representative to be elected at this level.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) nominated Ms Simson, the organisation's immediate past President, who was subsequently elected at the WFO General Assembly in Rome.

Ms Simson, from Gunnedah, NSW, has previously served on the WFO’s women and youth committees, and in the past year has been the Oceania representative on the WFO Board.

“Farmers are at the forefront of the big issues facing the world, like climate change, food security and sustainability,” Ms Simson said. 

“There are many competing voices on these issues, but it’s critical farmers present a united front and show global policy makers we can be part of the solution.”

NFF President David Jochinke, who is in Rome at the event,  said this was a significant moment for “Team Australia”.

“This elevates the NFF’s voice at the table, ensuring Australian farmers will be heard in international conversations on global agricultural policy and how food and fibre are produced in Australia,” Mr Jochinke said.

“Issues such as climate change, deforestation, animal welfare and agvet chemicals are influencing the policy agendas across the globe.

"These are all issues of critical concern to Australian farmers and we have to make sure global policymakers and markets understand them in the Australian context.

“The WFO’s growing influence with powerful bodies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Trade Organization and the United Nations, heightens the need for Australian representation.

“It’s why we are here at the WFO, and to have representation at a high level through Fiona, it gives Australian farmers a powerful platform to influence global ag policy.”

Farmers for Climate Action Chief Executive Officer Natalie Collard was thrilled with the appointment.

“Fiona Simson has been an effective leader for farmers and for the climate,” Ms Collard said.

“Fiona Simson led the National Farmers’ Federation to the net zero 2050 climate policy. She is valued by the farming community for advocating for Australian agriculture and the climate farmers rely on in a balanced and sensible way. 

“This appointment creates the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Australian agriculture is rich with climate champions.

“Farmers are facing more droughts, fires and floods because of climate change, and we’re glad Fiona Simson’s responsible, measured advocacy style will be seen on the world stage.”


The WFO is comprised agricultural bodies from across the globe with membership organised into six regional constituencies: Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, Latin America and North America.

The General Assembly is its highest decision-making body.



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