food industry partners
Spanning a wide scope of insight and experience, our food industry partners have been chosen for their ability to deal with the real-world challenges and difficulties faced by food businesses of all shapes and sizes in the FNQ region.
These support services include:
One-to-one advice and mentorship with industry experts and mentors familiar with relevant areas of the food sector.
Technical support and training in relation to marketing, operations and product development, as well as assistance in terms of accessing expansion capital.
The Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (DAF) Food Technology group provides commercial technical consulting and research and development services to the Australian food industry. The Food Technology group has offices in Brisbane, Cairns and Toowoomba.
The Cairns based team of food technologists and microbiologists are able to provide FNQ food producers, processors and other industry stakeholders with hands-on scientific advice and guidance on food product and process development. Some core capabilities of the Cairns team include:
Interpreting and administering the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code and other relevant industry codes of practices for food design, plant design, labelling and nutrition panel activities.
Advising and designing value-added product prototypes to meet specifications for composition, nutrient profile and sensory qualities
Devising appropriate testing protocol to establish quality standards, product safety and achievable shelf-life of food products
Interpretation and support of microbiological results, sampling plans and shelf-life assessment to establish scientifically correct ‘use by’ and/or ‘best before’ dates, onsite environmental monitoring, hygiene and safety, and rapid action in preventing and managing foodborne disease outbreaks.
As required the Cairns team can access the resources of the entire DAF Food group to call on to assist the Far North Queensland food sector needs. This includes access to DAF’s Food Pilot Plant and associated expertise at the Health and Food Sciences Precinct in Brisbane, a state of the art facility designed specifically to service the needs of the food industry. The facility allows Queensland food production and processing businesses to create new products or modify existing products, trial equipment, develop new or improved and cost-effective processes for retail and food service markets.
Advanced manufacturing incorporates niche market products and a range of activities from design and research and development (R&D), to production, distribution and after-sales services. It focuses not only on products but also on value-adding across the entire supply chain and includes:
collaborative R&D and design-led thinking
innovative business models and effective supply chain capabilities
the effective use of disruptive technologies and systems and cutting-edge materials
a focus on customisation and exports
world best practices and processes
new ways to manufacture existing products and the manufacture of new products
the provision of high value-added services and innovative solutions.
Queensland horticultural growers will be able to create, innovate and accelerate their ideas thanks to a collaboration between Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (QFVG) and the FNQ Food Incubator. The collaboration forms part of QFVG’s Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) being delivered via the organisaton’s project delivery arm, Growcom. Through the collaboration the FNQ Food Incubator team of business advisors will provide individual tailored support to develop and update existing farm business plans, building the capacity of horticultural businesses to plan for and manage risks, including drought.
QFVG CEO Rachel Chambers said horticultural growers were encouraged to take advantage of this collaboration to achieve their business and financial goals. “The FNQ Food Incubator assists growers to develop their business and value add to what they’re already doing,” Ms Chambers said. “This is a significant opportunity for industry to plan, prepare and take action to ensure their business is resilient and better able to combat future impacts, including drought.”
FNQ Food Incubator CEO Lara Wilde applauded the initiative. “This is an insightful collaboration from the team at Growcom. At the FNQ Food Incubator, we work hands on with many farmers throughout Queensland to assist them to be more sustainable and create new income streams through value adding,” Ms Wilde said. “A collaboration to deliver Farm Business Resilience Plans is a logical move to enhance our ability to support farmers."
Growcom’s Farm Business Resilience Program (FBRP) is assisting horticultural growers to identify gaps in their current farm management systems and develop plans that support Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers growth and aid in mitigating the impacts of future droughts. The program is available until June 2025.
The Farm Business Resilience Program is jointly funded through the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund and the Queensland Government’s Drought and Climate Adaptation Program.