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5 March 2021

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

Agribusiness, commercial fishing and aquaculture news from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).  If you have any questions or information to share, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.auSubscribe to Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews.

Virtual trade mission to Indonesia

Indonesia is set to become one of the world’s top four economies by 2045 and presents a significant opportunity for businesses and stakeholders across a range of sectors in Western Australia.

At this virtual trade mission and cultural exchange, you'll have the opportunity to increase your knowledge of Indonesian business and social culture, and benefit from direct access via video conferencing to industry professionals across sectors such as health and medical, tourism, advanced manufacturing, cyber security, agribusiness and construction as well as bilateral trade and investment opportunities under the IndonesiaAustralia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

This event – hosted by the City of Joondalup and the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth – will take place on 1 April 2021 from 9 am until 1 pm at Joondalup Resort, Country Club Boulevard, Connolly.  

This is a free ticketed event, but registrations are essential. For further information, please contact business@joondalup.wa.gov.au.  Source & Photo:  City of Joondalup

Rabobank: WA farmers invited to free financial management workshops

Western Australia's RaboClientCouncil is inviting aspiring or current farm owners and business managers to attend complimentary financial skills workshops which commence next week.

Giving you practical financial skills needed to set up and run a business, areas of focus for the workshops include:

  • taxation and management accounting
  • interpreting financial statements
  • understanding banking requirements.

Erin Green, the incoming WA RaboClientCouncil chairperson, anticipates continued success and positive outcomes following last year’s overwhelming response to the events, which changed to an online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The workshops give farmers an insightful overview of how to run the farm from a business point of view,” she said. "As we all know, these days, the business of farming has moved well beyond the paddock gate and it's imperative to understand the financial basics."

“They teach participants how to analyse their financials in order to provide a deeper understanding of their business’ strengths, weaknesses and overall financial status to ultimately enable more robust decision making for their future."

Sessions dates currently scheduled are:

  • 9 March 2021 – 9 am to 11.30 am and 2.30 pm to 5 pm
  • 15 and 16 April 2021 – 9 am to 11.30 am.

Registration for the workshops is on Rabobank website.  Source:  Rabobank  |  Photo: majortomagency / Unsplash

Women to the front: celebrating women in Australian agriculture

As the Australian agriculture industry faces the problem of an ageing workforce, a report by ANZ Agri INFOCUS points towards a new generation of women as the solution.

“On current trends, there are likely to be at least another 48,000 jobs in the Australian agriculture sector – of those, 27,000 are likely to be women and 14,000 of those in management positions,” the report says.

In Australia, female tertiary graduates with agriculture and related qualifications are now outnumbering their male counterparts, a trend which is expected to continue.  After years of droughts, bush fires, and trade complexities, it will be Australia's young and upcoming women who lead the revival of our agricultural industries across Australia, a point for celebration this International Women’s Day, this coming Monday 8 March.

Women have always played an integral role in the continued operation and success of the agricultural sector both in Australia and throughout the world.  Across the globe, one-third of all employed women work in agricultural industries.

While maintaining some of the highest rates of unpaid household work and volunteering of all demographic groups, Australian women have also been crucially responsible for diversifying the agricultural industry through agri-tourism and new food and hospitality ventures. 

Women are, and will continue to be, an integral part of Australian agriculture now and into the future.  Source: ANZ Agri INFOCUS / DPIRD |  Related: Women in Seafood Australasia  | Women of our time virtual conference  Source:  SCMP |  Choose to challenge: International Women’s Day 2021  Source:  ACCI  |  Photo:  DPIRD

Northern Prawns recognised by the 2020 Banksia Sustainability Awards

The Northern Prawn Fishery (NPF) has been chosen as a finalist in the prestigious 2020 Banksia Sustainability Awards ‘Medium Business’ category for their ‘Seas of Change’ work.

‘Seas of Change’ documents the NPF journey of innovation and collaboration in addressing the significant challenge of reducing small fish bycatch in the NPF.

Recognition of their ongoing ecological and social obligations, as well as a commitment to minimising environmental impacts of fishing, whilst producing high quality Australian prawns underpinned this important initiative.

The Banksia Sustainability Awards are globally recognised as Australia’s highest sustainability award program and the longest-running sustainability awards in the world. This year all finalists’ initiatives had the common thread of recycling, reducing and re-purposing.  More...  Source:  NPF / FRDC  |  Related:  Sustainable Seafood Week Australia 8-14 March 2021  Source:  MSC  |  Photo:  NPF

AI helping to solve key fish health issues

It has been known for a long time that salmon skin is important to sustain a healthy and robust fish. Mindful of this, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (NOFIMA) has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can help evaluate all the details in Atlantic salmon skin.

AI is a comprehensive branch of computer science where machines are trained to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. The machines know nothing from the start, but they can be trained to recognise highly complex patterns.

NOFIMA has developed an AI package for the evaluation of salmon skin, using the commercial Aiforia platform. In order to train the algorithm, several different sample sets were used, from 100 gram smolt to 5 kilogram salmon that are ready for slaughter. This resulted in a unique AI-model that is able to measure salmon skin structures. 

Having now used the software for several projects, NOFIMA is starting to form an idea about what the skin of a healthy fish should be like. In order to obtain a better overview on general fish health, they have gone one step further and developed similar AI algorithms for the liver and gills. The long-term goal is to create large, reproducible datasets for many organs, to better understand the relationships between the health of the organs, the production data and the way in which the fish have been treated. Such analyses will enable an evaluation fish health in a more holistic and more intelligent way in the future.  More...  Source & Photo:  NOFIMA

Online Seafood Expo North America

Seafood Expo North America has announced the launch of Seafood Expo North America Reconnect, a digital conference program that provides seafood buyers, suppliers and stakeholders a platform for in-depth industry content, emerging trends and networking.  The event will be hosted online from 15 to 19 March 2021.

“Until we meet again in Boston, we are thrilled to present our first online conference program,” said Liz Plizga, Group Vice-President, Diversified Communications, of the organisation that runs the event.

"The conference program will consist of live and pre-recorded educational sessions providing insights on emerging market trends and topics relevant to today’s evolving seafood business environment. “This is a great opportunity for the industry to stay connected, informed and create conversations leading up to the conference program in July.”

The five-day online event will focus around a comprehensive conference program covering timely topics pertinent to the current business environment and what to expect going forward in the seafood industry. The program will consist of 18 live and pre-recorded educational sessions, along with additional sponsored sessions and demonstrations. Content will be available to registrants as they are released throughout the event, as well as the following 30 days after.  More... Source & Graphic:  Seafood Expo North America

Austrade: Japanese consumers tending to choose familiar products

Japanese supermarkets have downsized their product portfolios in response to changes in consumer shopping habits, Austrade reports in its latest North East Asia update for Australian exporters.

Japanese consumers now spend less time at shops and tend to choose familiar products.  This is driving a bias toward well-known brands, according to a recent analysis conducted by Nikkei Asia.  This may cause Japanese importers to be hesitant about sourcing new products.  Consequently, fresh proposals will require strong market differentiation.

According to the Japan Food Journal, expenditure on noodles, fresh vegetables, oil, seasonings and coffee and cocoa increased by double digits in 2020 compared to 2019.  This is mainly a result of the change in lifestyle and consumption patterns, with more people staying at home to prevent infections. 

Meanwhile, cheese sales have soared, due to increased alcohol consumption, which apparently triggers increased demand for cheese. More...  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  David Edelstein / Unsplash