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22 May 2020

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

This weekly newsletter is produced by the Agribusiness Food and Trade Directorate of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.  Please email export@dpird.wa.gov.au if you have any questions or information to share.  New subscribers should click here to register for this newsletter.

Online bootcamp for WA agrifood tech entrepreneurs

Startups and early-stage innovators across Western Australia’s agriculture and food sectors have the opportunity to take part in a world-leading program in Israel – from their desktops.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is calling for applications from local businesses to take part in a ‘virtual bootcamp’, delivered by Austrade’s Tel Aviv Landing Pad.

The Tel Aviv Landing Pad is located at South of Salame (SOSA), a global innovation platform founded by Israeli investors and high-tech entrepreneurs.

DPIRD, Austrade and SOSA are partnering to support up to 10 qualified WA startups to attend the virtual bootcamp each afternoon from 22 to 25 June 2020.

DPIRD Agribusiness, Food and Trade Executive Director Liam O’Connell said Israel, known as the startup nation, consistently ranked highly for innovation and entrepreneurship in many areas of technology and particularly in agriculture, food and water.

“Initially we had planned to support delegates to attend in person, but with the challenges COVID-19 has presented, the program has been reimagined and we are now bringing the Landing Pad to participants,” Mr O’Connell said.

“This virtual program will connect participants with startups, mentors, investors, potential partners and others in Israel’s innovation ecosystem.

“This is the first digital delivery format of a program for Australian start-ups from the Tel Aviv Landing Pad, and is being offered to Western Australia’s agtech and foodtech startups.” 

Applications close 5 pm AWST on 2 June 2020. More information, including eligibility and guidelines, is available here.  More…  Source:  DPIRD  |  Photo:  Austrade

WA brand strong in SE Asia

Despite an almost inevitable COVID-19-induced dip in Western Australia’s presence on supermarket shelves in South East Asia, the WA brand remains strong in this region, according to the State Government’s Commissioner in Singapore, John Catlin.

"The heightened awareness of food security in Asia as a result of the current pandemic may have created new scope for partnerships between WA and Asian governments and entrepreneurs,” he said.

In 2015, when Mr Catlin took up the Singapore-based position, an Agrifood Business Development Manager was appointed to the WA international office in Singapore, jointly supported by the now Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, and the now Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

“During 2016 to 2020, our network of food and beverage importers in South East Asia expanded around a re-energised business-to-business service between WA exporters and ASEAN importers, both riding a new wave of demand in Asia for quality food – for ‘quality’ read clean, green, healthy, tasty, secure, traceable, safe, reliable,” he said.

“By the end of 2019, our confidence in the growth potential for WA farm products in the ASEAN market was at a new high, with new trade opportunities, new investment partnerships and new WA farm products emerging.” 

Mr Catlin said WA’s world-class primary producers help to establish a broader positive reputation for the state’s quality products and services.

“As we all know, one of the best ways to know a place is through its food, its tastes, and its respect for its own farm produce,” he said.

“In the not-yet-post-COVID-19 world, none of those convictions have changed.  However, the new challenge is to see how WA might offset any future supply chain crisis and understand where Asian consumers turned when their food choices began to shrink.”

WA agrifood and fisheries exports to Singapore were worth $160.8 million in 2018-19, with pork the most valuable at $30 million, milk and cream $23 million and wheat $19 million.

Mr Catlin said his office recently appointed a new Agrifood Business Development Manager Ms Cathy Kng, who would welcome enquiries from WA's exporters and can be contacted at Cathy.Kng@jtsi.wa.gov.au.  For general enquiries, connect with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Invest and Trade team in Perth.  More…  Source: John Catlin, WA Govt Office, Singapore  |  Related:  Government of Western Australia - Global offices  | Photo:  Austrade

Agrifood businesses ripe for growth

Twenty-eight businesses across Western Australia will receive $252,000 in funding under the first round of the State Government's Agrifood and Beverage Voucher Program.

Small-to-medium-sized food and beverage producers and processors will receive vouchers of up to $10,000 for professional business support services to help develop and expand their operations.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan yesterday announced the successful food and beverage businesses from the Kimberley, Pilbara, South-West and Great Southern regions along with several Perth businesses that added value to regional produce.

A broad range of products are covered through the initiative, including premium beef, lamb, juices, truffles, seafood, craft beer, wine, alcoholic spirits, pasta, chocolate, honey and kombucha.

Business recipients are required to match their vouchers dollar-for-dollar, helping them access expert advice on business planning, quality assurance, market positioning, technology, export capability development and other technical services.  More…  Source:  WA Minister for Agriculture & Food  |  Photo:  DPIRD [L-R:  Liam O'Connell, DPIRD Executive Director, Agribusiness, Food and Trade; Minister Alannah MacTiernan; Member for Kalamunda Matthews Hughes MLA; John Della Franca and Emily Lyons, Core Cider House.]

‘Start-Up Accelerator’ to support next wave of sustainable seafood innovators

Perth-based Australian fishing company Austral Fisheries is supporting the next wave of sustainably-focused seafood innovators, launching a 12-week “accelerator” program alongside
social innovation hub StartSomeGood.

The program, ‘Seafood For Good,’ aims to find a solution to increase consumer knowledge and preference for sustainable seafood.

Four business-to-consumer solutions will be selected to participate in the free accelerator over a period of 12 weeks.

Participants will be guided by leading experts in innovation, customer development and sustainable seafood to create innovative solutions to help bridge the path towards a more
sustainable future for the seafood industry.

The program guides include David Carter; chief executive officer of Austral Fisheries, Tom Dawkins; chief executive officer of StartSomeGood, Allen Haroutonian; Founder of Blue-X and Nick Chiarelli from Ocean Impact Organisation.

At the end of the accelerator, the two most commercially viable solutions will receive funding and support from Austral Fisheries as a key partner and supplier to launch their respective solutions.

The program is open to start-ups, new products from existing companies or non-profits, with applications closing next Wednesday 27 May 2020 AEST.  More...  Source & Photo:  Austral Fisheries  

Austrade insights: Japan

The global spread of COVID-19 has made it difficult to procure imported meat in Japan, Austrade says in its latest Market Insight report. In North America, where Japan sources much of its pork and beef, many meat processing plants are reducing or ceasing production due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

Japan’s future beef imports may be uncertain if these conditions continue. However, consumers are increasingly wanting to reduce household expenses, so cheaper imported beef will continue to be required.  US beef is in high demand due to increasing sales of ready-to-eat food at supermarkets and convenience stores.

Consumer interest in organic, healthy and natural products remains high, but these products need to be competitively priced.  Premium food exporters who are planning any new product launches or other marketing activities should keep in close communication with their importers to review and determine the optimum method and timing for implementation.

Austrade is working with Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, trading companies, the All Japan Barley Association and the Barley Tea Association to determine if there is enough demand to warrant importing barley into Japan. The tariff on feed barley was eliminated under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement More...  Source:  Austrade  |  Photo:  Shutterstock

FTA webinar: Supporting Australian exporters through COVID-19

Join Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham as he launches a new 12-part series of webcasts targeted at Australian exporters and those businesses seeking to export.

Taking place next Tuesday 26 May 2020 at 9 am AWST, this webinar will cover the current state of play, the importance of operating in a free trade environment and financial support initiatives for exporters.  More…  Source:  Austrade  |  Related: Food network created by Victorian farmers goes global  Source: ABC News  | Photo:  DFAT

Webinar: Leveraging government grants during COVID

Stuart Smith, a specialist consultant on business commercialisation and government grants, will join this Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry webinar next month to discuss additional help available to exporters from Austrade and Export Finance Australia during these difficult times.

Mr Smith consults on business commercialisation and government grants, specialising in the R&D Tax Incentive program, the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) and government business programs.  

Register here for this Zoom meeting which will take place at 1 pm AWST on 4 June 2020.  More…  Source: AACCI  |  Photo:  DPIRD

R&D needed into new grain varieties, products and markets

Following the imposition of a new tariff on Australian barley entering China, Western Australia’s Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan has said this underpins the importance of research and development into new grain varieties, products and markets, to help farmers adapt to ever-changing global trade conditions.

"For example, the Western Australian Government-funded Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre has led considerable work on opportunities for Western Australian oats in the South Asian market, and is exploring opportunities for malting barley into India,” the Minister said. 

"We will continue to work with industry to help Western Australia farmers overcome this challenge."  More…  Source: WA Minister for Agriculture & Food  |  Related: New 500,000 tonne market on offer as India opens its doors for Aussie malt barley  Source: Stock Journal  |  Photo:  DPIRD