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Friday, 13 November 2015

Australians just dig stuff and grow stuff, and don't do tech. Here's a suggestion from the Future Party

Let's mandate farm-to-consumer tracking. 

That is, as consumers of food we would like to know -- as would approximately 1 billion Chinese -- that the food we're eating has come from a healthy, responsible, sustainable farm. We would like to see a QR code on any packaging that links through to the ingredients, and where they were sourced from, and so on. For non-packaged (e.g. fruit and vegetables) there could be some other kind of sign up to give that information.

That will mean that:
  • Australia will lead the world in trustworthy food supplies, which will be a very, very big deal in the future.
  • Provide plenty of fodder for startups to provide the technology to make it happen.
  • Make Australian food just a little less competitive in the world market, easing the pressure on the dollar which will be buoyed up in the near future heavily by Chinese food purchases.
  • Encourage farmers to be more proactive in automation technology.
Fighting against the tide of "Australia just digs and grows stuff" is too hard: so we should aim to dig and grow stuff better than anyone else. There are fully-automated (robots only) farms that are servicing Woolworths, Coles and Aldi today. There's no reason Australia can't lead the world in FoodTech startups.

Thanks to Markus Pfister.