New agribusiness precinct takes off
A NSW Farmers' concept for an agribusiness precinct is taking off at the Western Sydney airport with the State Government confirming that fresh produce trade will be a key part of the new Aerotropolis.
The Association first called for a “fresh food precinct” at the proposed Western Sydney Airport (WSA) in 2017, describing it as a “game-changer for the farming sector” in NSW.
NSW Farmers' CEO Pete Arkle says equipping the new airport to be an export hub for fresh and premium regional value added products provides a once in a generation opportunity to transform NSW agriculture into a high value high tech industry.
“NSW Farmers released a special report in 2017 that recommended a Fresh Food Precinct for WSA including, export orientated food processing, high tech agriculture, and a fresh food market collocated within the airport precinct,” Mr Arkle said.
“As has been proven in countries like the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, coordinated investment in food industry clusters improves supply chain efficiency and the development of distinctive regional brands.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced today that the new agribusiness precinct will link directly with the Sydney Markets and feature a series of high-tech farming and climate controlled glasshouses that will produce fresh food and handle incoming produce from NSW farms for global export.
“This project deserves bipartisan support and we will be looking to Labor to back it if they are elected to Government.”
Mr Arkle says investment in Western Sydney, however, is only part of the solution for getting produce grown across NSW to key domestic and global markets.
He says NSW Farmers is now looking to all political parties to commit to scoping study into a sub 3-hour journey across the blue mountains for the central west food bowl can to take advantage of the new Aerotropolis and a study into regional food hubs.
“Almost all of New South Wales’ fresh produce is grown outside the Sydney basin, with most of it trucked long distances along already crowded roads to markets in Sydney,” Mr Arkle said.
“That’s why NSW Farmers is calling for $5 million to study regional food hub opportunities and the logistics solutions needed to connect the agricultural economies of NSW with international freight routes for premium goods, including the future Western Sydney Airport.”
“The agribusiness precinct at Western Sydney should be used as a model for agrifood clusters or regional food hubs in locations like the south coast, Albury, Griffith, Orange, Dubbo, Tamworth, Armidale and Coffs Harbour.”
Date: Monday 4 March 2019
Media Contact: Michael Burt | 0428 228 988