The Future Food Systems CRC will be funded in 2019 under Commonwealth Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Program.

The CRC was initiated by NSW Farmers Association, UNSW and Food Innovation Australia Ltd.  It was then  progressed by a consortium of over 60 founding industry, government and research participants through round 20 of the annual Commonwealth CRC selection process.

CRC research and capability programs will support participants in optimising the productivity of regional and peri-urban food systems, taking new products from prototype to market and implementing rapid, provenance-protected supply chains from farm to consumer.

When announcing the CRC on 27 March 2019, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the aim of the CRC is to develop important new technologies, products and services that help solve major economic, environmental and social challenges facing Australia.  “This CRC will work across the food supply chain and incorporate innovations in protected cropping, advanced manufacturing, smart logistics and food science to underpin high value industries in agrifood hubs,” Minister Andrews said.

In addition to providing  research and development  services to participants, the CRC will assist in graduating 60 PhD students and train a new generation through relevant education programs. The broader benefits of the CRC include new science and technology related jobs and education pathways, improved community health outcomes through more nutritious, fresh food and more food-based regional tourism.

CRC industry partners include large and small firms across farming, food manufacturing, technology services and marketing who share a vision for a new, connected value chain for high value goods – provenance protected fresh foods, through to advanced precision nutrition goods.

Research partners UNSW,  Western Sydney University, Murdoch University, Queensland University of Technology,  University of New England and Charles Darwin University bring expertise across engineering, planning, logistics, horticulture, precision nutrition and water and energy efficiency.

CRC government partners include WA, NT and NSW governments,  local governments and regional community entities. Working initially with government and industry stakeholders in six  food hub regions around Australia, the CRC will analyse local challenges and design integrated  solutions that are grounded in collaborative business cultures:  farms, greenhouse complexes, food factories, freight forwarders, and services providers linked by smart logistics in well-planned mosaic landscapes.

The CRC is presently in start up phase with a view to commencing operation in late 2019.

Our Chair

Fiona Simson is the President of National Farmers Federation and is a Board member of NRMA (NSW), the Australian Made Campaign Ltd, and AgStewardship Australia.

“Investment in high-tech, sustainable regional agrifood systems, co-located with airports to enable rapid freight, is central to reaping the rewards presented by domestic and Asian markets for value-added, provenance-protected healthy foods.  Not just new technology but new partnerships, business models and true customer focus is key to future growth in our industry”  Fiona Simson

Commercially focused innovation

“Fast-moving companies worldwide are establishing entirely new product and service hybrids that disrupt their own markets and generate fresh revenue streams.”
– Austrade, Australian Disruptive Technologies, 2017