Future food hubs

Planning for success

The CRC will help drive the success of regional and periurban food hubs in locations including Liverpool City (Western Sydney), Peel (Western Australia), Gippsland, Darwin, Armidale and Coffs Harbour, and will share tools and learnings with many more.

Stakeholders in these hubs aim to build regional capacity to value add local produce and build export capability in the CRC’s target product categories.

Agrifood clusters have proved  highly successful in nations such as the Netherlands,  Canada, USA  and Sweden. Our model clusters growers and manufacturers around rapid transport hubs via streamlined logistics systems.

Research themes include:

Developing regional food plans

The CRC will work with food hub stakeholder to develop plans that create a knowledge base and shared targets for future industry growth. These plans will connect farmers, regional manufacturers and  logistics and other service providers to create transparent supply chains for value added products.

Planning in this way will support the development of regional specialisations and distinctive high value brands. Our food hub partners aim to integrate food planning with regional tourism development.

Sustainable, high-tech agrifood precincts

Strategic  statutory planning, and civil engineering and design solutions are urgently needed to underpin and fast track  investment in Australia’s future food industry.

CRC research will assist our government partners in developing agrifood zonings and customised infrastructure for master-planned commercial agri-tech precincts that facilitate the operation of growing, processing and logistics firms.

NSW Government and Western Australian Government have committed to creating high tech agrifood industrial precincts, in Liverpool City and Peel respectively. The Peel precinct is already zoned and includes joint ventures with Singaporean firms. The Liverpool precinct will be developed in parallel with the new western Sydney Airport and surrounding “Aerotropolis” over the next 10 years. The CRC will provide design and circular economy solutions for water and energy as part of developing these precincts and also support participants in locating within the precincts.

This activity with be linked with billion dollar investment being made in our food hubs regions, under City Deal and regional development programs. At different scale, we will support similar approaches in Darwin and our other food hubs.

High tech indoor farming

Scaling up protected cropping in our food hubs  is a central aim of the CRC. Research will develop next generation solutions across automation, informatics and facility design, in partnership with major growers such as Perfection Fresh, and SME  technology entrepreneurs who are developing ultra high tech vertical solutions.

Circular economy solutions

Integrating water recycling, renewable energy and waste management at civil and facility scale.

Smart logistics and inland ports

Building scale in high value markets for perishable goods demands investment in advanced inter-modal logistics. Australia has the potential for highly efficient cross-border zones based on digital platforms (such as blockchain) that will enable fast and efficient trade of food. The CRC will work with freight and planning stakeholders to design efficient intermodal solutions for premium goods. Western Sydney Airport, Perth Airport and Darwin Airport present exceptional opportunities in this regard.