Future foods are coming our way 

A NSW Farmers bid to underpin a new era of regional and peri-urban food systems with a Future Foods Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has won the support of the Federal Government. 

The Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews has today granted $35 million over 10 years for the CRC with an extra $149.6 million in cash and in kind to be provided by CRC partners. 

The CRC was initiated by NSW Farmers Association on behalf of the national representative farm sector and as part of a broader industry wide push to increase value -adding capability, product differentiation and responsiveness to consumer preferences. 

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said the CRC will provide the research and development needed to accelerate modernisation of the agricultural sector and forge sustainable supply of trusted, nutrition oriented goods that leverage Australia’s reputation for quality, safety, and high regulatory standards. 

“This really is exciting news for farmers. Demand for high value food goods creates massive opportunities for farmers and for new food industry clusters in regional towns,” Mr Jackson said.

Coffs Harbour, Armidale and Western Sydney will be home to three of the CRC’s six regional food Hubs to be established across Australia. The other three will be in Darwin, the Peel Region of Western Australia and Mildura in Victoria. 

“Congratulations to David Eyre, who heads research and innovation at NSW Farmers. David has played a pivotal role in bringing together a diverse group of over 60 research, industry and government partners with a common future food vision.”

CRC Chair and NFF President, Fiona Simson, said sophisticated technology and stronger collaboration across the supply chain is needed to increase export readiness and scale in booming global markets for trusted fresh foods and advanced precision nutrition goods. 

“The global market for foods catering to demand for trusted fine foods and nutritious ‘convenience meals’ alone is projected to be AU$2.7–$3.6 trillion by 2025. The market for ‘Free from’  foods such as organics and foods for allergy suffers is projected to AU $3.4 trillion,” Ms Simson said 

“Our industry recognises the essential role of innovation as we enter this critical growth phase. The strong backing for this CRC across all sectors is a sign that Australian agrifood is ready to make a leap forward in vision, sustainability and capability”

“We have the talent in Australia to become a global leader both in future food technology and future food goods.”

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said the CRC will compliment an agribusiness precinct at the new Western Sydney Airport. 

“The new Western Sydney Airport is in our Council. Planning for landuse and infrastructure surrounding the development presents an opportunity for our council to support an advanced agrifood and education cluster that leverages advanced indoor cropping and freight facilities, and generates high value jobs.” 

CRC activities will include: 

Developing next generation technology  for intensive protected cropping
Urban design  and circular economy solutions for future agrifood hubs  (planning policy, design and  infrastructure for integrating high tech growing and processing facilities in the fabric of towns and cities)
Freshfood logistics tools to support 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

Date: Wednesday 27 March 2019
Media Contact:   Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988