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A new initiative by Queensland’s Freeze Dry Industries could see portable freeze-dry equipment sent directly to Australia’s food producers to process perishable crops and use previously wasted food. Margaret Megard spoke to CEO Michael Buckley.

Imagine Australia’s farms and co-ops processing freshly harvested fruit, veggies and even milk on-site, then shipping it off to market in an easily transportable form with maximum shelf life.

That’s what the future could look like thanks to the vision of founder and CEO of Freeze Dry Industries, Michael Buckley, who says the company is currently in the planning stages and is working on designs and manufacturing plans to make this happen.

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Based in Yandina on the Sunshine Coast, Freeze Dry Industries’ factory has been in operation for three years and was set up with a $5 million investment.

The location was chosen for the diverse range of nearby farms and plantations growing everything from tomatoes, mangoes, and pineapples through to strawberries, avocados, and bananas. Not only that, it is close to the ports of Brisbane.

“The thing about food manufacturing is that it seemed to be horrendously costly and reliant on transport,” Buckley says.

“So, the question became, ‘how do you solve the logistical transport issues and food waste problems?’

“And with fresh produce, time is of the essence, so you’ve got to go where the action is.”

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