07/10/2016 - 15:21

Manjimup hub to grow premium agribusiness

07/10/2016 - 15:21

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A new $3 million premium food centre that will help regional agricultural and food businesses find new markets was officially opened in Manjimup today.

Manjimup hub to grow premium agribusiness
Truffles are one example of premium produce grown in the Manjimup region. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A new $3 million premium food centre that will help regional agricultural and food businesses find new markets was officially opened in Manjimup today.

The Western Australian Premium Food Centre will provide a supportive hub for local food and agribusiness, and help transform market potential into trading partnerships via an advisory service delivered by centre staff.

Agriculture is WA’s second largest export sector and employs around 40,000 people across the state.

Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said there was potential for the state’s agricultural producers and processors to work together to capture a share of the growing global premium food market.

“The Western Australian premium food centre will enable the local agrifood industry to build on its enviable reputation and capitalise on growing domestic and international demand,” he said.

“The centre will work with agribusinesses throughout WA, including the organics industry, that are actively pursuing market expansion - particularly from Asia - for reliable suppliers of high-quality, safe, premium products.”

Mr Lewis said the establishment of the centre would also assist the federal government’s vision to double the value of agriculture by 2025.

Funded by the Royalties for Regions program, the Manjimup centre is the latest instalment of the $4.5 million Food Industry Innovation project, which also includes the establishment of a $1.5 million food centre in Albany.

The innovation project aims to support local agriculture and food businesses capture new market opportunities through cost sharing and scale, promotion, market development, and leading-edge technologies. It forms part of the $350 million Royalties for Regions Seizing the Opportunity agriculture initiative.

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the centre complemented other projects under that initiative, such as the $22.1 million Agriculture Sciences Research & Development Fund and the $20 million WA Open for Business program.

“These investments will equip Western Australian agribusiness with the skills and market intelligence to stand out in the international marketplace as preferred premium food suppliers,” he said.

“These projects will expand the agriculture sector and the region’s contribution to the economic and social wellbeing of WA.”

WA currently accounts for 17 per cent of Australia’s total agriculture and food exports. 

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