Improving supply chains for Central Queensland agriculture is the key goal of a new study by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).

CRCNA will collaborate with local producers and other stakeholders on the Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday agribusiness export supply chain mapping study.

The study will examine how local and international supply chains can be developed or improved to better deliver food and food-waste products to domestic and international markets.

It will also outline potential new agribusiness opportunities, and provide a platform for advocacy on future infrastructure investment needs for the region.

Speaking to local paper the North Queensland Register, CRCNA chair Sheriden Morris said the project would highlight how developing agricultural export markets can be a catalyst for future regional growth.

‘Establishment of a long-term regional investment strategy and a multi-industry agreement is critical to ensuring … producers have robust supply chain systems which enable them to access significant growth opportunities and maximise production to meet future international demand,’ she said.

‘The end result will be an integrated plan to improve and enhance agricultural supply chains across the north, to the benefit of all producers and agribusinesses.’

The study will support the delivery of sectoral regional road maps and action plans, develop and promote a Regional Agrifood Export Readiness Program, and partner with industry stakeholders to develop regional export-development plans.

Stakeholders involved in the study include Greater Whitsunday Alliance, North Queensland Bulk Ports, Regional Development Australia Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, and the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association.

The final report is due by the end of 2019.

Central Queensland producers who would like advice on exporting can contact TIQ’s Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Region office.