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Think big, think fresh

The concept of a fresh food precinct adjacent to the to-be-built Greater Western Sydney Airport (WSA) was launched at the Western Sydney Airport Conference yesterday.

The world’s population is a growing and so is its appetite for high-value, high-quality fresh food.

By 2050, it is predicted the globe’s population will be 10 billion, up from today’s 7.5 billion.

A visionary proposal to propel Australia’s role in catering for this increased appetite was unveiled in Sydney this week.

The “A fresh food precinct at the heart of Western Sydney: Think big, think fresh” Green Paper sows the seeds for the development of a world-leading, high-tech food hub adjacent to the to-be-built Greater Western Sydney Airport (WSA).

The concept is the brainchild of NSW Farmers and KPMG.

Australia is currently ranked second out of 20 countries in its reputation as a provider of high quality primary produce and there exists significant potential to go for gold!

The Western Sydney location of the new airport facilitates an easy connection between NSW’s regional food hubs and the airfreight services needed to get produce to market.

The Precinct seeks to capitalise on this geographical advantage.

It’s not often farmers call for investment in more city infrastructure, but in this case the benefits on offer are too good not to support.
Fiona Simson, President, NFF
Think big, think fresh, A fresh food precinct at the heart of Western Sydney, KPMG and NSWFarmers

The development would enable premium Australia produce think oysters, cherries, berries, beef even flowers to be processed or harvested and in an overseas market within 36 hours or less.

A full–integrated supply chain from paddock to freight would include end to-end cold storage; high-tech packaging and labelling to meet end user specification; and an online ordering system.

State of the art digital certification systems would see fresh food quickly clear the necessary customs requirements. Contemporary trading systems, such as Blockchain would enable the fast and efficient trade of food and fibre.

Think big, think fresh, A fresh food precinct at the heart of Western Sydney, KPMG and NSWFarmers

On-site small-scale, indoor, intensive farming is proposed to complement the produce sourced from the regions.

Crucially modelling estimates the development could create 12,000 ongoing jobs and provide a solution to the Western Sydney ‘fresh food desert’.

The Fresh Food Precinct proposal was launched at the Western Sydney Airport Conference on Wednesday.

The National Farmers’ Federation, NSW Farmers, KPMG and industry groups are now calling for Government to set aside 500 hectares close to the proposed WSA for the Precinct.

Speaking at the launch NFF President Fiona Simson said Governments at all levels needed to commit to making the Fresh Food Precinct a reality.

“It’s not often farmers call for investment in more city infrastructure, but in this case the benefits on offer are too good not to support.

“The WSA Fresh Food Precinct has wide-ranging benefits for urban and regional communities and businesses. Such worthwhile, visionary projects do not come along often.

NSW Farmers Chief executive Matt Brand echoed Ms Simson’s plea.

“A Fresh Food Precinct won’t happen without local, state and federal governments taking action to put in place in the appropriate planning processes and investments now to avoid missing out on this game changer for Western Sydney and the bush,” Mr Brand said.

Significantly Mr Brand is also calling for the Sydney Markets to consider co-locating to the Airport precinct.

“The markets moving out to the Western Sydney Airport makes sense at every level. 

“It provides stall holders access to new markets overseas, at a site that will have great transport links to domestic and overseas customers and suppliers, and service the growing Western Sydney community that have been poorly served in terms of access to amenities that people in other parts of Sydney take for granted,” Mr Brand said.”

Refer to Farm Online News story, Fresh Food Precinct could turbocharge farm exports, 3 November 2017, by NFF President, Fiona Simson

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