Australia is setting the trend for advancements in food technology innovations.

With the growing middle class in China, and the developing countries of Southeast Asia, Australia is in a good position to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) recently released the Food and Agribusiness Roadmap, which outlines opportunities for Australian products in various growth areas. These include health, convenience foods, and products which emphasize sustainability and reduce waste by using fewer resources. The roadmap was a collaboration with Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), a government-funded growth center for food and agribusiness.

Their plans are bold and daring, to say the least. The roadmap includes research and development along the lines of non-allergenic nuts, tolerable lactose and gluten foods, algae-based proteins, and edible packaging solutions. These are all responses to concerns the organization foresees affecting the near future. With less predictable weather and climate, growing conditions could be less dependable. Furthermore, there is an impetus to deliver healthier and more convenient foods to customers. Other trends include more sustainable processes, newer food source alternatives, as well as traceable packaging.

Part of the roadmap includes enablers in order to have better coordination with FIAL. These cover: traceability and provenance, market intelligence and access, collaboration and knowledge sharing, food safety and biosecurity, as well as skills. FIAL’s priority areas align with these enablers and help maintain focus as they create opportunities for growth and innovation in the food and agribusiness industry. This is also expected to help increase productivity and sustainable growth of the economy, as well as become job creation initiatives and attract businesses.

Plan for Competitiveness in Food Industry

Australia map

Recently, FIAL also released its sector competitiveness plan. This details the vision for growth of Australian food exports and the strategy to meet that vision. In 2015, the country’s food and agriculture exports totaled US $46.5 billion. This is equivalent to 14% of the total goods and services exported for the year, about 63% of which goes to Asia.

With the growing middle class in China, and the developing countries of Southeast Asia, Australia is in a good position to take advantage of this opportunity. The middle class in these countries are not only growing in number, they are also progressively developing more sophisticated and expensive tastes. This is due to the growing affluence brought about by their respective country’s growing economy.

Australia has been noted for its innovations in the food industry and agriculture. They have a wide range of products, and is also positioned to be Asia’s bread bowl. Australia and New Zealand are the leading exporters of lamb meat and live sheep to the Middle East. They also have a very large dairy industry, as well as an ever growing wine export sector. Similarly, they export high quality seafood, like black mussels.

The initiative laid out by CSIRO and FIAL positions the foundation to continue research and development towards innovative products and value added services. This can further ensure that even with changing environments, and unpredictable economic conditions, Australia will be in a position to keep producing superior goods in both Asia and the rest of the world.