• (Image: FIAL website)
    (Image: FIAL website)
  • (Image: FIAL website)
    (Image: FIAL website)

Food and Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) has launched Program 2030: Doubling Australian Food and Agribusiness. Ten top trends have been identified as well as economic growth opportunities.

Experts and decision-makers from the food and agribusiness value chain, industry and research participants from the Future Food Systems CRC have been enlisted to develop roadmaps that will drive expansion in the growth opportunity areas.

The 10 future trends identified by FIAL as key in shaping the future of the food and agribusiness sector, are:

  • urbanisation and the growth of the global ‘consuming class’;
  • increasing physical connectivity;
  • dietary shifts for health and ethical reasons;
  • environmental constraints impacting production;
  • technological advances;
  • an ageing population;
  • government regulations and policy;
  • growing concerns about food security;
  • a ‘new age’ of geostrategic concerns; and
  • the rise of food provenance.

For the rest of 2020, FIAL will run working-group briefings, four roadmap development workshops, and cross-team roadmap development sessions to discuss each of the identified growth opportunities and develop draft ‘opportunity roadmaps’.

These roadmaps will guide strategies for expansion in their respective areas over the next decade and feed into the formulation of a single, overarching Roadmap to 2030 for the sector that capitalises on the identified opportunities for job-creation, value-adding and resilience-building.

FIAL has highlighted 19 major opportunities for economic growth in Australia’s F&A sector, identified by AlphaBeta and grouped under four key themes and ranked by overall ‘size of the (potential) prize’:

  • Health and wellness;
  • Traditional proteins (meat, egg, dairy);
  • Supply chain transformation;
  • Direct-to-consumer model;
  • Targeted eating;
  • Food loss and waste;
  • Soil, water and land management;
  • Animal feed and health;
  • Energy-smart food;
  • Food fraud and safety;
  • Plant-based and alternative proteins;
  • Urban agriculture;
  • Sustainable fisheries;
  • Reducing packaging waste;
  • Protected cropping;
  • Technology in smallholder farms;
  • Precision agriculture and big data;
  • Sustainable inputs; and
  • Advanced breeding and fertilisation.
(Image: FIAL website)

FIAL said few F&A businesses have been unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It said: “Disrupted food supply chains and social distancing have led businesses to innovate, as well as heightening recognition of the essential role the sector plays in food security, locally and globally.

“The nation’s food and agribusiness sectors are set to play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery post-pandemic, with several growth areas ripe for further expansion over the next decade including health and wellness, supply-chain transformation, direct-to-consumer models and more.”

But it adds, this outcome is far from a forgone conclusion, with the sector needing to operate differently.

“Currently, the sector operates in many cases in isolation from each other, along different supply chains, often to the same market. We operate as multiple commodities, organised independently from each other, duplicating effort and resources. Often we compete rather than are co-creators of value-added food products.

“This needs to change for us to build a more sustainable food and agribusiness value chain at least double its current value.”

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