ADDING value to a crop post-harvest has been revealed as a real possibility for many Western Australian growers.
Last month, the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development hosted 13 WA businesses on a week-long study tour of Victoria, Australia's leading State for value-added products.
The group attended the inaugural Global Table conference and participants had opportunities to network with businesses and exporters, and see first-hand premium product business operations.
Department Food Innovation manager, Kim Antonio, said the tour was a good example of government and business working together to grow the agri-food industry in WA.
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"Several companies are already applying the knowledge they gained from the tour to make changes to improve their business operations," Mr Antonio said.
"Cowaramup Brewing is now using its previously discarded surplus hops from brewing to make bread, and trialling its popularity in their restaurant.
"Torbay Asparagus saw the benefits of investing in staff through training and incentive programs to grow the business.
"Sweeter Banana Co is investigating a number of value-adding opportunities, based on connections made while on tour.
"Rawsome are using newly formed relationships to purchase local ingredients and expand their gluten free product range."
Mr Antonio said feedback from the tour group was positive and participants believed it was worthwhile taking the time away from their businesses to participate.
"The participants agreed the opportunity to meet with a broad range of suppliers, service providers, industry experts, Austrade commissioners and business peers was highly valuable, and not something they could organise on their own," he said.
"They said to get insights into both the production systems and business practices of Victorian manufacturers has provided clear pathways to success.
"The group also found being able to come together from a diverse range of areas and production sectors in Western Australia provided different points of view and ways of approaching business."
Mr Antonio acknowledged the support of Food and Wine Victoria, the Victorian State Government, Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, and the City of Ballarat in making the tour possible.