TREND foods and urban agriculture will get a boost, with the announcement the Federal Government will commit $35 million in funding over the next 10 years to the Future Food Systems Cooperative Research Centre (FFS CRC).
The funding will add to the$149.6m of cash and in-kind funds the CRC has received from its 57 participants.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said CRCs aim to develop important new technologies, products and services that help solve major economic, environmental and social challenges facing Australia.
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"This CRC will work across the food supply chain and incorporate innovations in protected cropping, advanced manufacturing, smart logistics and food science to underpin high value industries in agrifood hubs," Minister Andrews said.
She said agrifood hubs will be established in Liverpool, Coffs Harbour and Armidale in New South Wales, Mildura in Victoria, Peel in Western Australia and Darwin.
According to the announcement the FFS CRC will fund 60 PhD students and target activities at:
- Developing technology for intensive protected cropping systems
- Urban design and technology infrastructure
- Support the rapid export of perishable premium goods
- Advanced precision nutrition science and technology to underpin commercialisation of partner products in the high value nutraceutical and personalised food markets
- Industry capability programs
The FFS CRC will fund 60 PhD students as well as targeted activities.
National Farmers Federation president, Fiona Simson, said sophisticated technology and stronger collaboration across the supply chain is needed for Australia to become a leader in booming export markets for trusted fresh foods and advanced precision nutrition goods.
"Our industry recognises the essential role of innovation as we enter this critical growth phase," she said.
"The strong backing for this CRC across all sectors is a sign that Australian agrifood is ready to make a leap forward in export readiness and capability"
"The next growth phase in our industry demands strategic adoption of advanced science and technology across production, logistics, energy, water, and manufacturing "
"We have the talent in Australia to become a global leader both in future food technology and future food goods."
NSW Farmers president, James Jackson, said that the CRC is needed to underpin new capability and enable new investment and job creation in regional areas.
"Demand for high value food goods creates massive opportunities for farmers and for new food industry clusters in regional towns," Mr Jackson said.
"The shorter, more environmentally efficient supply chains we envisage will reward farmers for their investment in quality and safety, and enable true transparency through the value chain to the consumer."