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AgriFood Tech innovations to watch

AgriFood Tech innovations to watch

Australian producers pitched business, service and product solutions to pressing problems in the food and agribusiness industry at the evokeAG 2019 KPMG Producer Problem Pitch contest.

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KPMG, the major partner of the evokeAG 2019 Producer Problem Pitch contest, offered Australian producers the opportunity to pitch their business, service, or product idea to assist or solve one of the pressing issues facing the food and agribusiness industry.

Producers highlighted a key issue in their respective operations and market that could be solved through the development of an AgriFood Tech solution.

The 2019 Producer Problem Pitch finalists were:

Danny Le Leuvre, Australian Bee Services

Eradication of American Foul Brood disease (contest winner)

Currently no cure exists for American Foul Brood disease, a disease affecting bees worldwide. To date the only means to eradicate the disease, once it is found, is to burn the infected frames and bees to reduce the spread of the disease throughout the aviary. Hence the persistence of this disease costs producers the loss of hives, honey and time.

Early detection is key, yet no early detection or prevention devices exist. Le Leuvre outlined the industry’s need for a non-invasive tool that can assist in early detection of the disease, so that bee producers can act quickly to eradicate infected frames before the spread of infection.

Natalie Engel, Sunlight Grazing

Inefficient quality assurance and data management compliance systems

Administration procedures are placing significant burden on food and agribusiness producers. At present, quality assurance certification requires input into multiple systems across every level in the process chain.

Often these systems do not interact with one another, and therefore require the re-entry of data on each level, presenting a lot of repetition and unnecessary lost time. This is affecting productivity and efficiency for all parties across the supply chain, including producers, transport providers, processors, saleyards, agents, buyers and feedlots.

This inefficiency often results in a lack of quality data to enable accurate product certification, which can erode domestic and international consumer trust. Engel is advocating for a single platform and/or data entry point for all quality assurance related data and compliance certification.

Sally Strelitz, Milly Hill Lamb and Outreach

Alternative models for local regional meat processing

The past 20 years has seen a significant closure of local meat processing facilities in regional areas. Producers are now resigned to using services of a few privately owned processing facilities, which are often located hours away. These changes impact the quality of the products, animal welfare and limit access to niche markets.

Strelitz identified the industry’s need for an alternative model that allows smaller producers to process their own meat in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

The calibre of finalists, and the problems pitched, showed a strong understanding of issues facing food and agribusiness. Winner Danny Le Leuve from Australian Bee Services was awarded a $5,000 cash prize and a KPMG-facilitated solutions workshop utilising KPMG’s internal cross-firm capabilities. KPMG looks forward to assisting Danny and the bee industry in creating a solution that addresses this important producer problem. 

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