Food Agility CRC is calling for agrifood and tech businesses to join its mission to build data-driven resilience in food supply chains and help keep food on our tables in a crisis and beyond.
Mission Food for Life is a $10million initiative bringing together a consortia to create new data-driven solutions that help the agrifood industry to rebound quickly, reinvent business models and build resilience.
Food Agility CEO, Dr Mike Briers AO, said the recent series of shocks to agrifood supply chains had been a ‘wake-up call’.
“The last eight months alone have brought drought, fire, pandemic and geo-political barriers. Supply chains have been pulled and strained in ways we have never experienced before,” said Dr Briers.
“Compounding shocks are creating a future where the ability to rebound, reinvent and be resilient are the keys to prosperity. Those with the capacity to respond quickly via digital solutions and build new data-driven business models have the upper hand.
“The agrifood industry has been in low gear when it comes to digital transformation. Now is the time to accelerate,” said Dr Briers.
Dr Briers today (Tuesday) officially launched Mission Food for Life via webinar, alongside a host of agrifood, technology and service provider companies that have already signed up to the Mission (see full list below).
The launch included the release of findings from a landmark study jointly produced by KPMG Australia and Food Agility CRC. The study found that better use of data, interoperability of technology and platforms, as well as cybersecurity, were key areas to focus on.
KPMG Australia Partner and Head of AgriFood Tech, Ben van Delden, said a shift in mindset was needed for the agrifood sector to ‘survive and thrive in the new normal’.
“Whether we’re talking about grains, red meat, horticulture, dairy, wine or seafood, the inherent stresses are largely the same: climate variability, labour and skills shortages, environmental sustainability, shifting consumer preferences and global competition.
“Until now, the AgriFood sector’s mindset towards these stresses has been more reactive than proactive, with resilience mechanisms built in after each bushfire, flood or drought. Reactive initiatives have left the sector exposed to shocks such as COVID-19.
“We need to proactively invest in implementing strategies that leverage digital and data interventions to enhance the sector’s underlying resilience. The report we are releasing today is a guide to the sector on where to focus development of resilience initiatives.”
Dr Briers said the report was a ‘launchpad rather than a culmination’.
“We invite other businesses to join with us in tackling what is one of the greatest challenges of our time: how to keep food on the table in a crisis and beyond,” said Dr Briers.
Organisations signed up to Mission Food for Life include:
Southern Rock Lobster
Food & Fibre Gippsland
Treasury Wine Estates
Fresh Supply Co
NSW Department of Primary Industries
University Technology Sydney
Charles Sturt University
University of New England
Megan Tudehope, Food Agility CRC, firstname.lastname@example.org +61 450 452 733.
Sarah Belin, KPMG Australia, email@example.com +61 408 195 368