THE Federal Government has this week announced $11 million in funding via grants to improve Australia’s agricultural traceability systems and make it easier for producers to get their goods to consumers and overseas markets.
The funding comprises $6M for innovative solutions through the RegTech grants round, and $5M for the Food Agility Co-operative Research Centre to invest in leading digital solutions.
RegTech grants will help businesses and exporters meet regulatory requirements more efficiently, giving Australian agriculture a trade advantage, while the $5M grant to the Food Agility CRC will drive industry-led innovation to streamline and modernise Australia’s food data.
“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,” Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said.
“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 chief executive officer 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 more than $100M the Federal Government has committed to agricultural traceability.
They will support action to meet the objectives of the National Agricultural Traceability Strategy 2023-2033, which will be launched in coming months.
The 15 successful projects which will run over the two years to June 2025 and received funding under the RegTech Research and Insights Grant Round are:
- FreshChain Systems: $497,000 to enhance and validate additional standardisable features on traceability platforms for RegTech applications in agri-food supply networks;
- University of Adelaide: $500,000 to eliminate illegitimate timber and plant-derived products from global supply chains;
- University of Tasmania: $333,649 to assess traceability RegTech applications for honey bee and cherry industries and related supply chains;
- Ricegrowers Limited: $493,389 for digital traceability of carbon emissions in rice;
- Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited: $471,000 to develop RegTech applications across horticultural value chains;
- Seafood Industry Australia Limited; $499,840 for a traceability and verification RegTech solution to increase efficiencies for the Australian seafood industry;
- South Australian Dairy Farmers Association Inc: $402,488 for algorithmic auditing of milk supply chains;
- CSIRO: $500,000 for a digital exchange to streamline data collection and flows in the red meat supply chain;
- Venturenauts: $500,000 for Halal beef e-certification and traceability;
- Agrifood Connect: $500,000 for the Agrifood Connect Trace2Place project mapping the red meat supply chain.
- National Farmers’ Federation: $108,000 to examine industry-led, cross-commodity RegTech in cross-commodity production systems;
- University of Newcastle: $203,734 for global agricultural trade and traceability, international models, and future architecture;
- T-Provenance: $175,000 for digital traceability to streamline pest and chemical management in the Australian grain industry;
- RegSoft: $315,400 to use rules as code to create farm-to-export traceability for agriculture supply chains; and,
- Meat & Livestock Australia: $500,000 for the Australian AgriFood Data Exchange, an interoperable data platform and exchange to transform agricultural traceability.
Source: Australian Government