Beef and horticulture exporters get a digital edge

By Jamie Salter

The cost and complexity of exporting food will be reduced in Australia with the launch of a project that will harness the power of data and digital platforms.

CSIRO is working with the horticulture and beef industries on a system that will automate the testing of produce for export compliance on digital tracing systems.

This aims to build resilience into Australia's fresh food supply chains and boost the traceability system’s capacity to handle increasing export volumes.

The project is part of the Federal Government's Traceability Grants Program that includes trialling technologies that digitise information flow.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said automating food supply chain information flow would future-proof Australia's traceability system.

“The current paper-based method for recording supply chain information is fast becoming old school and potentially risks our competitive advantage,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Digitising information flow also supports faster, more accurate tracking of food from paddock to plate, enhancing Brand Australia and maintaining consumer confidence.

“In a global market where premium food commands a premium price, trust is our greatest asset, and even more so in these challenging times.”

Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the Federal Government was supporting CSIRO’s work with $200,000 in funding.

“This is another great example of how cutting-edge digital technologies can be used to drive growth in our most traditional export industries,” Ms Andrews said.

“We know Australian products, particularly our first class food, are in high demand around the world and we need to do what we can to support our industries to benefit from that demand.”

CSIRO’s work will be informed by extensive engagement with Horticultural Innovation Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to better understand the required data workflows for export compliance.

As part of the project, CSIRO will conduct new research into the digitisation of regulations and test approaches to automating export compliance using horticulture and beef use cases.

For more details, visit the Traceability Grants Program website at: