THE AUSTRALIAN government said it is investing more than $7 million in projects to enhance the country’s reputation for producing high-quality wood and fibre.

The first round of projects, worth about $4 million, have already started to deliver outcomes.

The Traceability Grants Program supports industry projects that will enhance our agricultural supply chain traceability systems, including developing and trailing technologies that digitise information flow.

The program also aims to provide an advantage for our exporters and to increase opportunities to export Australian commodities.

The program is part of the Australian government’s Modernising Agricultural Trade agenda to support the target of a $100 billion agricultural sector by 2030.

Minister for agriculture David Littleproud said the remaining $3 million for round two of the Traceability Grants Program continues to reward ideas that elevate Australia’s high standards of reliability and provenance.

“Traceability in agriculture, fisheries and forestry allows consumers to feel secure in the knowledge that the products they are buying have been farmed and harvested and processed to the highest possible standards,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This benefits not only Australian consumers, but also our trading partners who can be further assured of the safety, quality and sustainability of the goods we produce and deliver.

“We know that consumers in Australia and internationally want greater transparency and real time advice about the origin and safety of food in the modern digital marketplace.

“Whether it’s through developing block-chain technology to guarantee food safety, an app to track kangaroo meat harvesting, or a DNA database to combat illegal logging, these round two projects will give Aussie exporters the competitive edge.

“Advanced systems support rapid tracing in the event of suspected food safety or biosecurity incidents.

“QR codes and other mechanisms also help detect fraud and misleading statements about the products such as information on country of origin and nutrition.

“Traceability will support our farmers and other primary producers in opening up market access opportunities and growing exports of their premium produce.

“The Australian government’s investment in traceability is a demonstration of our commitment in support of industry’s ambitious goal of $100 billon in farmgate value by 2030.”

The Australian Government is investing $7 million from 2019-20 through to the end of 2022-23 in projects under the Traceability Grants.

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