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1 November 2022

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.

International apple partnership to generate sweet returns for Australian apple industry

Western Australia's popular dark burgundy Bravo® branded apples are being launched to the world at Asia's premier fruit expo next week under a new international trademark, Soluna™.

The State Government has secured experienced international commercialisation partners to take the locally bred apple global – paving the way for industry expansion, increased exports and a significant funding injection to local horticulture research.

The apple's new name for the worldwide stage, Soluna™, was chosen to embody the moon and the sun, reflecting the apple's striking dark skin, and creamy yet crisp, white flesh.

This next step opens the door for the apple variety to be grown in other countries and its fruit sold under the Soluna™ brand, building supply and scale opportunities to capture major markets.

WA growers are well placed to capitalise on the international opportunity, as established leaders in the production of the apples, sold locally as Bravo®. More... Source: WA Minister for Agriculture and Food | Photo: DPIRD [L-R: Terry Hill, DPIRD Director GeneralMinister Alannah MacTiernan; Rohan Prince, former DPIRD Director Horticulture; Chris Mayne, DPIRD Principal Legal Officer.]

French fishers catch up on how WA’s rock lobster industry works

Last week Western Australia played host to eight commercial fishers and a facilitator from France, who spent time in workshops and field trips around Perth to get to know more about our western rock lobster fishery. The fishers live and work in and around the port city of Brest, located in a sheltered bay in the Brittany region of Western France and run family-based operations in a mixed fishery, catching several species of lobster, crab, octopus and fish.

French delegation facilitator Serge Gomes da Silva said the fishers had been inspired by what they’d seen in WA. “Volumes and trade figures here are obviously huge in comparison with our French fishery, but the commitment and investment of all parties involved in developing efficient management tools is truly inspiring,” he said.

The visiting fishers are placing a great priority on their cooperation project with Australia to sustain the dynamism of their regional lobster fisheries, trade experience between borders and involving local fishermen in the greater picture of resource management.

“We’ve been very interested in the management efforts and cooperation happening between WA’s Western Rock Lobster Council and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development,” Mr Gomes da Silva added. “The tools developed in WA, like maximum economic yield, back of boat sales and a social licensing approach have been inspiring for our Brest fishery.”

When they left WA last Saturday, the French fishers headed for Tasmania to continue looking at research, management, and industry issues in our Australian lobster fisheries. The species they catch off the French coast is the red lobster (Palinurus elephas), which more closely resembles the southern rock lobster caught in Tasmania. More... Source and Photo: DPIRD [Serge Gomes da Silva (with camera), with some of the French fishers and DPIRD staff capturing an up-close moment with a western rock lobster at Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative’s export facility in Welshpool.]

Enterprise Support Program creating buzz in agrifood and beverage sector

Local honey beverage manufacturer The Bee Firm is the inaugural recipient of an Enterprise Support Program grant to scale up its business and capture export and new market opportunities.

The $3.85 million program is a partnership between the Western Australian Government and the Shire of Murray, to assist WA agrifood and beverage businesses to innovate and develop, generating economic opportunity.

The Bee Firm's $500,000 matching grant will be used to buy new equipment to significantly increase production of the Perth-based company's canned natural honey drinks.

The grant program is part of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's and Shire of Murray's collaboration in the Peel-based Food Innovation Precinct WA.

Applications for Enterprise Support Program grants are open to eligible businesses to access matching funding of up to $600,000 to pursue business innovation, diversification, export capability, product development and commercialisation. More... Source: WA Minister for Agriculture and Food | Photo: DPIRD

Latest Export Supply Chain Service update

The Export Supply Chain Service (ESCS) is a new Austrade initiative that coordinates insights into complex supply chain and logistic issues.

According to the latest ESCS snapshot from 27 October 2022, around 1271 outbound flights from Australia were reported, up 1% from week ending 16 October 2022.

Airlines are gearing up for the holiday season, with many already announcing more services to key destinations to meet passenger demand. From 1 December, Thai Airlines is increasing the number of flights from Melbourne to Bangkok to double daily. Air New Zealand will also increase services from 31 October to 80% of their pre-COVID flight numbers. Despite the extra flights, cargo capacity is expected to be limited due to passenger volume, so prices will remain high.

Austrade’s second ESCS Industry Briefing takes place on Monday 14 November 2022, from 12 noon to 1 pm AWST. Register now for this virtual event to hear from industry leaders, including ESCS Principal Michael Byrne, and Australian Logistics Council Chief Executive Officer, Hermione Parsons, on current challenges and what to expect leading into the peak summer period. More... Source and Graphic: Austrade

Adding more life to exported fresh products

In Australia, food losses resulting from deficiencies in the food cold chain are estimated to cost nearly $4 billion in farm-gate value per annum and cause greenhouse gas emissions that are almost equivalent to those of all vehicles on Queensland roads. This is partly due to the lack of crucial data to inform supply chain decisions.

There are emerging options to redress this situation and using an array of smart technologies it's possible to improve cold chain management using data captured in real-time to improve the performance of domestic and international supply chains.

Converting data into meaningful information helps supply chain managers regain control of freshness and quality of produce, reducing food losses and inefficiency and improving the brand of the business.

Benefits include: shippers having supply chain data available 24/7; problems which are identified can in some instances be resolved during shipment; avoiding losses and high claims per shipment; better visibility as to who is at fault when something goes wrong; and better in-market satisfaction. In some cases, it also enables cost reductions from the use of lower-cost freight options, such as switching from air to sea freight, and case studies by Meat and Livestock Australia have highlighted increased sales due to cost reductions and improved product quality and customer satisfaction. More... Source: DPIRD / Future Food Systems / Escavox / Meat and Livestock Australia | Photo: DPIRD 

Addressing global food security

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia is hosting a free online event at 9.30am on Thursday 10 November 2022 during which participants will hear from the Food Innovation Precinct WA (FIPWA) and learn about opportunities for new products and exports in the State’s food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet regional food security.

Globally, levels of hunger remain alarmingly high. In 2021, they surpassed all previous records with close to 193 million people acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance across 53 countries and territories, according to the Global Report on Food Crises 2022.

Record high food prices have triggered a global crisis forcing millions more into dire poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition. The war in Ukraine, coupled with supply chain disruptions, climate change and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 pandemic, have pushed food prices to all-time highs. This has escalated global concerns about food security and the appetite to explore more efficient food harvesting and processing solutions.

FIPWA is a state-of-the-art facility fostering food and beverage industry innovation to drive business growth, develop new products and exports – to transform WA’s food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet regional food security.  It is an ecosystem of innovation with a research and development facility, a production building and a one-stop common-use food-technology amenity. More... Source and Graphic: CCIWA

Australian trial to reduce cattle methane emissions

In a world first in food production, beef produced with up to a 90% reduction in methane hit supermarket shelves in Sweden in September, and moves are already under way to trial a new feed supplement that greatly reduces methane emissions from Australian beef cattle. 

In an announcement last month, supermarket Coles said it is partnering with Mort & Co Grassdale Feedlot in Queensland on Australia’s largest commercial feedlot trial of feed supplement Bovaer. DSM, the developer of Bovaer, is a partner in the trial.

International studies have already shown Bovaer – which is broken down as part of the natural digestive process of the animal – to be successful in reducing methane emissions. This trial, however, will be the first in Australia to test the feed supplement in a real-world, large-scale commercial feedlot of industry size and scale. The trial will study how effectively Bovaer reduces methane production in feedlot cattle.

A recent study of 20 cattle funded by Meat and Livestock Australia found Bovaer, which is added to cattle feed at the rate of just a quarter teaspoon per day, to reduce methane emissions by between 60-90%.

Coles’ announcement came a week after supermarket Woolworths announced it was joining the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef – with other companies like McDonald's and JBS part of the organisation. More...  Source: Coles / GRSB / All About Feed | Related: University of Queensland's promising research to drastically reduce livestock methane emissions Source: ABC News | Photo: DPIRD