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Federal funding to build future food powerhouse

Professor Elaine Holmes with researchers and the minister

Murdoch University is delighted with today’s announcement of $35 million in Federal funding to help transform Australia into a food export powerhouse.

The Hon. Karen Andrews, the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, today announced funding for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Future Food Systems, of which Murdoch University is a key research partner.

Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor David Morrison, said the Federal funding, combined with $149.6 million in total cash and in-kind support from academic and industry partners, would help turn Australia into a global leader in agrifood production and export.

“This CRC will provide our agrifood sector with the research and development support it needs to modernise and transition from commodity production to the sustainable supply of trusted, flavourful and nutrition-oriented goods,” Professor Morrison said.

“Together with Australia’s reputation for quality, safety and high regulatory standards, this will put participating regional food hubs, such as Peel in WA, in the box seat to dominate food export markets worth trillions of dollars per year.”

Murdoch University Pro-Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences, Professor Jeremy Nicholson, is the Chief Investigator in the CRC’s research program into food value adding and will lead a national team of researchers from WA, QLD, NSW and the Northern Territory.

Professor Nicholson said the new CRC would develop new types of food diagnostics to improve production and monitor the quality of Australian products.

“Food and environment cannot be isolated from health. This CRC will deliver a new level of quality assurance and branding that can be linked to health claims, which will increase the value and desirability of Australian foods,” he said.

“Our agrifood sector will be well placed to cater to the emerging ‘targeted eating’ market for functional or fortified foods and ‘personalised’ foods designed to address specific nutrient needs and health concerns, which has a projected worth of $690-$770 billion per annum.”

Many WA-based small-to-medium enterprises will be involved in the adding value program, including representatives of the truffle and mushroom industries, lamb and beef producers, horticulture and technology companies.

Murdoch University’s partnership with Peel Development Commission and the City of Mandurah, where the University has a campus will see a lot of focus in the Peel Region including North Dandalup and Nambeelup. Internationally, Murdoch University is working with CRC partners Fund Singapore and also the CAIQ (Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine) with whom Murdoch has a memorandum of understanding.

 The WA State Government is also a foundation CRC partner via a cash and in-kind commitment from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Read more about the Future Food Systems CRC.

Posted on:

27 Mar 2019

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