WA Future Food Network (WA FFN) and the CRC teamed up to host a recent roundtable with Western Australian food and beverage sector stakeholders to identify industry challenges to value-adding and discuss potential next steps.
“I have worked closely with many local food and beverage businesses, trying to get value-added products into market, and most had no idea what was available to them,” explains Tracey Hodgkins, WA FFN Chair. “They often said it was easier to sell their raw produce than to try and source the facilities or products they needed.”
At the 15 June forum, agrifood representatives attending from across the state were encouraged to voice their needs and perceived obstacles around value-adding on-shore.
This was the starting point for roundtable, sector-based conversations that fed into a productive discussion on what might be needed in the future to progress value-adding opportunities.
The overarching objective: to eliminate obstacles to onshore food and beverage value-adding and develop the networks, support and infrastructure required to enable the state’s agrifood producers to value-add sustainably and cost-effectively.
WA Future Food Network CEO Hannah Lalor was pleased with the outcome. “It was great to have a cross-section of industry representatives, food and beverage businesses, government and research together to discuss the challenges we face in WA, the opportunities that exist here and also what aspirations we have in regard to future infrastructure, skills, services and networks,” Lalor said.
“Our next step is to summarise the data collected into a draft report to be sent out for additional comments and feedback, and then a final report will be released,” she said.
Watch a video of the workshop below.
For more information, contact FFN CEO Hannah Lalor on firstname.lastname@example.org
About the WA Future Food Network
Established in September 2021, the Future Food Network is the former Peel Hub of Southern Dirt Grower Group. The network’s goal is to facilitate connections across the state’s entire F&B supply chain, and strategic partners from the private and public sectors – including the Future Food Systems CRC, Shire of Murray, WA DPIRD and the new Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia (FIPWA).
Lead image: Attendees at the WA FFN and CRC food and beverage industry roundtable on 15 June 2022. Credit WA Future Food Network