Dr David Hadley, Senior Lecturer at UNE Business School, recently attended a Food and Agribusiness Industry Workshop in Parramatta and shares with the Centre of Agribusiness the outcomes of this trip.
It follows on from a report commissioned by RDA which examined current and potential industries that could be developed around the proposed new western Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. The report identified that there are significant new export opportunities – particularly in North East Asia’s online food markets – which are not being realised now. The new airport could improve access to these markets, but industry is suggesting that productive capacity needs to be improved and innovation and productivity accelerated if these new markets are to be captured.
The specific objectives of the workshop were to:
- Explore strategies to build collaboration between the food and agribusiness sector and agricultural/food research organisations.
- Identify potential ways in which companies can utilise available research capability to increase innovation outcomes
- Explore opportunities to improve the current infrastructure, logistics and airfreight issues in an effort to build improved capability and achieve better export outcomes.
Dr Hadley was allocated to a working group which was mostly made up of representatives of other universities in NSW, tasked with considering the following:
Identifying potential ways in which companies can utilise available research capability to increase innovation outcomes
- Discuss and list the individual areas of research capability and specialty for all of the seven universities and industry research centres in NSW
- Consider ways of improving access by companies to university research centres
- Consider ideas for a digital collaborative platform to increase awareness of industry/research capabilities.
From the working group discussion, a primary concern identified was the lack of a coherent strategy for food in NSW and the disconnect between food industry matters and primary production. The suggestion was made that this workshop should be considered a starting point, with an ongoing intention to work on developing such a strategy.