Sid Sidebottom MP Media Release
… for a fair go in Braddon December 22, 2008
Opportunities for Tasmanian food innovators Tasmanian food producers could benefit as the Rudd Government invests $40 million to support the growth of innovative food and seafood industries. Member for Braddon, Sid Sidebottom MP, has welcomed a call by Primary Industries Minister Tony Burke for applications for three key funding programs to support these local industries. Mr Sidebottom said the Tasmania’s food and seafood already enjoyed a fantastic reputation across the country and worldwide. “But we realise that sometimes our producers need help to further innovate and get the message out about their fantastic produce,” Mr Sidebottom said. “I would encourage anyone in the food and seafood industry to look closely at how they can make the most of this opportunity.” The three programs are: The Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity Program – to provide grants of between $50,000 and $2 million for projects that involve new technologies, processing or production methods in the food or seafood industries; · The Promoting Australian Produce program – to provide grants of between $50,000 and $750,000 to help food industry bodies build their capacity to better market and promote their produce to domestic and export markets; · The Promoting Australian Produce (Major Events) program – to support national events which aim to improve efficiency along supply chains and boost innovation in the food and fibre sectors. ·
Minister Tony Burke said grant recipients would be required to match the funding dollar‐for‐dollar. "The Rudd Government recognises the role of the food and seafood industries in the nation’s economy and in rural and regional communities," Mr Burke said. "We need to maintain a competitive edge for our food production sector by boosting productivity right along the production chain and value‐adding to capitalise on new markets.
"Better marketing and promotion will also help our high‐quality food commodities compete with imported produce." Mr Burke said the global food crisis meant demand would continue to grow for Australian food. Around two‐thirds of Australian food commodities are exported, worth more than $23 billion in 2006‐07. "Tasmania can play a major role in helping to address the global food crisis – which will help to feed hungry families and also deliver opportunities for our farmers," Mr Sidebottom said. "This $40 million investment is another example of the Government acting now to meet the challenges of the future." For more information on the application process for these programs, phone 1800 631 715 or visit www.daff.gov.au/foodinnovation; www.daff.gov.au/ausproduce and www.daff.gov.au/ausproduceevents
For more information: Luke Sayer
6431 1333/0458 311 355