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Cooperative Research Centre for developing Northern Australia to greatly improve horticulture supply chain management

5 April 2018

Joint media release with the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan and Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, the Hon Zed Seselja.

Smart supply chains for the horticulture sector comprise the first industry-led collaborative project to be managed by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Developing Northern Australia, supporting the Australian Government’s commitment to improving prosperity in the north.

The Smart Supply Chains project will run over the next two years, with $300,000 in funding from the CRC and a total project value of $830,000.

The aim of the project is to improve supply chain efficiencies and reduce pressure on farmers in ensuring food safety and quality within the supply chain.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said it was wonderful to see the CRC, based in Townsville, working with businesses and industries across the north to overcome local challenges such as supply chain management.

“This CRC brings together partners from industry, world-class researchers, government and international organisations with an objective to focus on industry issues that matter in the north,” Minister Canavan said.

“Research projects like Smart Supply Chains will ultimately improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Northern Australia.”

The Australian Government announced an investment of $75 million to establish the CRC for Developing Northern Australia as part of the $6.2 billion commitments outlined in the Northern Australia White Paper.

Minister Canavan said the Australian Government was committed to developing Northern Australia because unlocking the full potential of this important region brings benefits to the nation as a whole.

Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja congratulated the CRC for Developing Northern Australia on its first project in addressing supply chain management issues among producers in the north.

“CRCs have a proven track record in delivering tangible benefits for industry, and we believe this project has the potential to do so too.”

The Smart Supply Chains project will utilise a combination of sensor technology and new blockchain technology to ensure food safety, food quality, food traceability and authenticity within the supply chain.

Northern Australian CRC’s Chair Sheriden Morris said the technology would have major applications for northern Australian farmers, impact all horticultural regions of Northern Australia and create further demand for Northern Australia produce.

“The project will focus initially on the mango industry, with the CRC estimating that upon successful adoption of its supply chain technology, 10 per cent of value will be added to farm gate production, equating to $14 million per annum,” Ms Morris said.

Media Contacts:
Minister Canavan’s office 02 6277 7180
Assistant Minister Seselja’s office 02 6247 6444