Sustainable Agribusiness Adaptations

NAB and Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) have partnered to provide practical guidance to farmers on how they can use the latest climate and sustainability research to make their businesses more resilient.
Project complete

In Partnership With:

National Australia Bank Limited
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Federation University Australia

Sustainable Agribusiness Adaptations

The Challenge:

Australian agribusinesses are adapting to rapid change in he climate, social environment and market and regulatory requirements. But they need to accelerate the pace of adaptations. It can be difficult to know whereto start and where to focus efforts for the greatest impact. There are smaller adaptations agribusinesses can make in their day-to-day operations. Others require longer-term planning and investment.

NAB seeks to support its agribusiness customers by providing data-driven, science-backed information to help them asses which adaptations best support long-term viability and sustainability.

The Solution:

This project will provide bankers and farmers with  practical guidance to support science-backed and commercially considered decisions about where to invest their time effort and money.

It will synthesise available evidence relating to adaptations to manage climate, social, market and regulatory risks and explore the most efficient tools to present information in a way that is easy-to-use and engaging.

It will focus on the highest value agricultural sectors including beef, sheep, dairy, grains (wheat and barley) and oil seeds (canola). The team will review scientific literature, talk to NAB agribusiness customers, and engage with industry bodies to publish a detailed report outlining:

  • Greatest climate change and sustainability risks and opportunities
  • Available adaptations to mitigate risks and/or benefit from opportunities (e.g. diversification, water management approaches, crop rotation)
  • Net benefit of adaptations
  • Additional supporting information including the relative confidence around adaptations and net benefits as well as ways to measure and monitor successful adaptation


  • Farmers can use science to prove their sustainability credentials
  • NAB can support its agribusiness customers to identify opportunities and manage risks
  • Consumers access safe healthy food
  • Reduced impact of food production on the environment

meet the team

Dr Madeline Mitchell

Science Lead, Carbon & Natural Capital Pillar ( - Madeline is a plant scientist with broad interests in the social, economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture. While at CSIRO and the University of Cambridge, she collaborated with industry and community partners as well as diverse researchers to understand plant growth and to develop novel food, fuel and fibre crops for the benefit of farmers, consumers and the environment.

Madeline is a member of the Riverine Plains farming system group’s Research Advisory Council and the Cambridge Australia Scholarships PhD selection committee. She is an advocate for gender equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM and an alumna of the global leadership initiative, Homeward Bound. Her skills in science communication have been recognised by an ACT Young Tall Poppy Award and selection in the Superstars of STEM program.

At Food Agility, she uses these diverse skills and interests to develop, contribute to and lead research projects to demonstrate the value of natural capital and carbon in farm systems for productive, profitable and climate resilient farm systems.

Madeline holds a joint role with Food Agility and the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University.


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