$11m for technology to boost Aussie ag trade

The Albanese Government is turbo-charging Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, with $11 million in government grants available to make it easier for farmers to get their goods to consumers and overseas markets.

The Government will fund $6 million for innovative solutions through the RegTech grants round and $5 million for the Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) to invest in leading digital solutions.

RegTech grants will help businesses and exporters meet regulatory requirements more efficiently, giving Australian agriculture a trade advantage. The $5 million grant to the Food Agility CRC will drive industry-led innovation to streamline and modernise Australia’s food data.

“The Albanese Government is turbo-charging Australia’s agricultural traceability systems, having invested over $55 million just this year,” Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said.

“Strong regulation is one of Australia’s selling points in trade, but there are always ways we can streamline and modernise our systems, particularly as more farmers use innovative technologies themselves.

“These grants will go towards RegTech projects that inform us how to improve and streamline regulatory compliance with technology.

“Having a transparent, traceable supply chain means consumers in overseas markets can be reassured that Australian agriculture is clean, green, and sustainable.

“The research and activities funded through Food Agility CRC will support smarter traceability solutions and data standards that allow systems to talk to each other — allowing producers to safely share and reuse data to ‘tell their story once.”
 
Food Agility CEO Mr Richard Norton said his organisation was delighted to be part of national efforts between industry and governments to improve Australia’s traceability systems and bring value to farmers.
 
“The Australian agricultural sector's data is among the best in the world, and this pilot will transform that data so that our global trading partners can not only understand it, but also trust it,” Mr Norton said.
 
"The outcomes will be world-leading and will have tangible benefits to producers, growers, and the agrifood sector by allowing their sustainability credentials to be demonstrated to customers at home and abroad.”
 
These investments and projects are part of over $100 million the Albanese Government has committed to agricultural traceability. They will support action to meet the objectives of the National Agricultural Traceability Strategy 2023-2033. The Strategy will be launched in the coming months. The draft is available here: National Agricultural Traceability Strategy.
 
Grant details are available online at www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity-trade/market-access-trade/national-traceability/grantsprogram    

A total of 15 projects were successful in the popular funding round and they will share in $6 million of funding. The projects will run over two years from May 2023 to June 2025.

The successful projects under the National Agriculture Traceability Regulatory Technology (RegTech) Research and Insights Grant Round are: 

  • FreshChain Systems Pty Ltd - $497,000 - Enhancing and validating additional standardisable features on traceability platforms for RegTech applications in agri-food supply networks.
  • University of Adelaide - $500,000 - Eliminating illegitimate timber and plant derived products from global supply chains.
  • University of Tasmania - $333,649 - Assessing traceability RegTech applications for honey bee and cherry industries and related supply chains.
  • Ricegrowers Limited - $493,389 - Digital traceability of carbon emissions in rice.
  • Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited - $471,000 - Developing a RegTech applications across horticultural value chains.
  • Seafood Industry Australia Limited - $499,840 - A traceability and verification RegTech solution to increase efficiencies for the Australian seafood industry.
  • South Australian Dairy Farmers Association Inc - $402,488 - Algorithmic auditing of milk supply chains.
  • CSIRO - $500,000 - A digital exchange to streamline data collection and flows in the red meat supply chain.
  • Venturenauts Pty Ltd - $500,000 - Halal beef e-certification and traceability.
  • Agrifood Connect Limited (AFC) - $500,000 - Agrifood Connect Trace2Place project - mapping the red meat supply chain.
  • National Farmers' Federation Limited - $108,000 - Examining industry-led, cross-commodity RegTech in cross-commodity production systems.
  • University of Newcastle - $203,734 - Global agricultural trade and traceability - international models and future architecture.
  • T - Provenance Pty Ltd - $175,000 - Digital traceability to streamline pest and chemical management in the Australian grain industry.
  • RegSoft Pty Ltd - $315,400 - Using rules-as-code to create farm-to-export traceability for agriculture supply chains.
  • Meat & Livestock Australia Limited - $500,000 - Australian AgriFood Data Exchange - an interoperable data platform and exchange to transform agricultural traceability.