Farmers, food suppliers and retailers across the country are set to benefit from Australia’s first ever agribusiness clustering initiative.

Food Innovation Australia Limited’s (FIAL) Cluster Programme encourages businesses, researchers and educational institutions to work together to build on their competitive advantage, and develop solutions to challenges.

The new programme provides matched-funding to support clusters in the food, beverage and agribusiness sector. The first successful applicants were announced today by Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Zed Seselja:

  • Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) – a cluster of 210 farmers, suppliers, food processors, retailers, foodservice and affiliated services in Queensland which supports small and medium food producers in scaling up their operations to expand into national and international markets.
  • Central Coast Industry Connect Cluster –which brings industry, research organisations and governments together to grow the New South Wales Central Coast region’s current food and beverage sector and create more local employment.
  • East Gippsland Food Cluster – a collaboration designed to boost the productivity and sustainable growth of Victoria’s regional agrifood businesses.
  • FermenTasmania – a cluster of industry, university and government engaged in boosting experience and expertise, research and development, skills and training for businesses involved in fermented food, drinks and other products.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash welcomed the programme as the first of its kind, saying it would drive collaboration between Australia’s industry, science and research sectors.

“Food Innovation Australia’s new programme is a fantastic platform to encourage industry, government and researches to unite around a common purpose and solve regional problems they otherwise could not tackle alone.

“Cluster success is well demonstrated internationally and this new initiative has the potential to create commercial benefits and jobs growth in Australia,” Minister Cash said.

Assistant Minister Zed Seselja noted that the program would help to drive growth and accelerate innovation in the food industry all over Australia.

“Business clusters and hubs are important because they lead to small and medium business growth, greater innovation, increased exports, more jobs and economic development.

“I congratulate the four clusters that have been successful in applying for funding and welcome the benefits and opportunities their collaborations will bring,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

FIAL is one of six Growth Centres established by the Government under the Industry Growth Centres Initiative. The Growth Centres are driving innovation, productivity and competitiveness to help industry sectors build stronger futures for themselves.

More information about the FIAL Cluster Programme is available at fial.com.au/cluster-programme