Research Programme 3

The Sustainable Food Systems Research Programme

The Sustainable Food Systems Research Programme (RP3) is designed to enhance the performance, adoption pathways and long term operational capability of Australia’s agrifood sector by:

  • Connecting growers, processors, industry associations, regulators & consumers to achieve a coordinated & balanced approach to technologically enabled food futures;
  • Developing highly trusted food systems in which Brand Australia represents a safe, clean, green, sustainable food industry & dynamic business models which enable firms to respond to rapidly changing local & global food consumption patterns;
  • Developing governance processes & regulatory frameworks (via government & industry practice) that support balanced sector development around food safety, environmental sustainability & food provenance;
  • Dynamically mapping industry needs & skills to drive training programs, youth education-to-work transitions & management capability development to support a technologically enabled workforce.

Five key sets of activities will be undertaken:

Trusted Food Systems

- Detect patterns in public conversations around food & identify drivers of activity & diversity of opinions.

- Analyse regulatory profiles of public & private food regimes & their role in creating & sustaining Brand Australia.

- Understand triggers for trust in use & adoption of digital technology & relate to specifications development.

Dynamic Business Models

- Data mining, literature & social media to track sentiment & identify consumer needs & food purchasing behaviours.

- Identification of barriers in agri-business to technology adoption, which prevent thinking ‘outside of the box’.

- Develop models for firm dynamic capabilities through collaborations, culture, co-discovery & co-creation processes.

Governance & Regulation

- Design governance models using digital communications between producers & stakeholders & diversify value chains -to reduce waste, environmental externalities, & increase consumer influence.

- Analyse IP & regulations to determine governance in relation to biotechnology; breeder’s rights; farm-saved seed; genetic resources; food security; climate & energy.

Future Workforce

- Data mining to identify agri-business skills requirements & impacts of autonomous systems.

- Analyse education to work transitions with stakeholders to build capacities of future agri-business workforce.

- Evaluate profiles to drive change & create a culture which mobilises adoption of digitally enabled technology futures.


- Capacity & capability building of 36 HDRs via work integrated learning, leadership development & exchanges.

- Dissemination of research based knowledge through publications & training of 12 postdocs.

- “Design Central” to facilitate knowledge transfer, adoption & practice change via short courses & workshops & internships for producers & SMEs.