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Helping Australia's food industry go digital

14 June, 2018

An industry-led Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) launched on June 13 is helping Australia’s farmers, food producers and food industry businesses embrace digital technologies to improve their productivity, strengthen their branding and create new jobs and export opportunities.

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja launched the Food Agility CRC this morning, which brings together 54 participants from food, technology and research sectors, along with governments and service providers.

The CRC’s research program aims to develop digital technologies like information systems, software platforms and sensing technologies for use across the food value chain, from paddock or pond to plate.

“Australia’s food industry already enjoys a great reputation globally for quality and safety, but is lagging behind in its use of data and digital technologies,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“Data can help businesses gain market insights, solve problems, rapidly respond to consumer preferences and inform sustainable production practices.”

In its first 12 months of operation, the CRC has kicked off projects across the country, working with wheat farmers in Western Australia, oyster farmers in NSW and viticulturalists in Australia's wine regions.

Assistant Minister Seselja today visited the Sydney Fish Market with the Food Agility CRC to view its project using existing and novel technologies to trace fish supply.

“This CRC takes a unique approach to its research projects in bringing together partners from across the food value chain, and nowhere is this convergence more apparent than at Sydney Fish Market,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

“The truly exciting aspect about this project is how this information could be used to demonstrate provenance to the Market’s wholesale buyers, create new dining experiences at Sydney's high-end restaurants and revolutionise one of Sydney's most visited tourist destinations.”

Announced in March 2017 as part of the 18th round of CRC funding, the Food Agility CRC will receive $50 million in Australian Government funding from 2017-2027, and will leverage an additional $149 million in cash and in-kind contributions from participants.

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