Food Innovation Australia Ltd (Fial) was established to accelerate commercially-driven collaboration and innovation in the Australian food and beverage industry. Launched as part of the federal government’s Industry and Innovation Statement: A Plan for Australian Jobs, the industry-led network takes a collective approach to improving productivity, profitability and resilience across the food and beverage sector nationwide. Fial works to coordinate existing services and leverage Australian research capacity, providing new tools and services to help organisations invest, innovate and grow.

A government-funded initiative, Fial focuses on emerging opportunities and on boosting Australia’s competitive advantage in global matters such as growing Asian markets, economic variability and climate change. It works collectively and strategically to develop a sustainable Australian food industry – creating an environment conducive to providing local jobs, designing new products and services, and supporting food and beverage industry supply chains in becoming more effective and efficient.

Fial’s mission is to work with multiple stakeholders across the supply chain to create positive, transformational change in the Australian food and beverage industry, addressing challenges while creating new and profitable opportunities.

Key issues include keeping Australia competitive in the global trade market; addressing the national reduction in exports, rising input costs and barriers to export trade; increasing collaboration, productivity and efficiency in a highly concentrated retail market; promoting greater alignment between the needs of industry and government investment in research; helping translate research investments into positive economic, social and environmental outcomes; and encouraging business support and innovation.

Fial also provides support in the light of tighter food safety standards and supply chain regulations, helps organisations adapt to climate change risk, addresses market saturation of cheap imports and the increasing trade deficit, assists industry in capitalising on local and Asian demand for premium and sustainably-produced food; ensures essential skills are passed on from the ageing workforce, particularly in rural areas; and works with educational institutions to address an industry skills shortage while ensuring talent is retained.

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