Local food producers head east to learn

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Fiona Marshall from Torbay Asparagus is heading to Victoria as part of the State’s focus to boost local food exports.
Camera IconFiona Marshall from Torbay Asparagus is heading to Victoria as part of the State’s focus to boost local food exports. Credit: Laurie Benson

Premium food producers from Albany have been selected to join an exclusive study tour of the Eastern States to boost premium food exports in WA.

Torbay Asparagus owner and producer Fiona Marshall has been chosen to join the tour and will be travelling to Victoria to connect with Australia’s food productions experts.

Ms Marshall, together with 12 other food producers from WA, will visit several food and beverage production facilities in Melbourne and across regional Victoria to identify opportunities and innovations they could bring into their own businesses.

Ms Marshall, who grows asparagus at her farm in Torbay, said she would use the information to expand her business.

“I’m quite pleased to be able to have this opportunity because it can be quite expensive to find things yourself and to learn more about food production,” she said.

“It’s much easier if you’re in an environment with other people who are all interested in learning more about it.

“There is no direct plan at the moment, but after going on this tour we could work out what’s possible and what is possible for us and the farm.”

As part of the tour they will visit Monash University's Food Innovation Centre and join a facilitated design sprint session with Ballarat food businesses on product design for market readiness.

Participants will also attend the inaugural Global Table conference with other food and beverage industry leaders from across Australia and the globe.

WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the trip would be a valuable learning experience for WA producers.

“The study tour is a good opportunity for WA businesses to learn from major exporters and explore options for new value-added products that meet consumer demands and grow the State's share in the premium foods export market,” she said.

“Moving WA up the value-chain will create more regional jobs and drive economic growth across the State.”

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