The Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management
Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries
The Coalition Government is backing the development of world first portable x-ray fluorescence technology that aims to easily identify Australian grown seafood and protect against food-fraud.
Our Government is investing $202,500 into the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisations (ANSTO) world-leading project, which is one of 16 to share in $4 million in funding under the first round of our Traceability Grants Program.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said ANSTO was leading a consortium applying advances in isotopic and elemental fingerprinting to determine the provenance of seafood.
“Australian fisheries and aquaculture production is expected to grow to $3.84 billion in 2024-25 based on continued and growing demand within Australia and the Asia region,” Minister Littleproud said.
“Unfortunately, some fraudulent parties mislabel produce as Australian, which could lead to devastating impacts on Australian seafood’s good reputation and consumption if people lose faith in our products.
“This technology will support industry efforts to provide even stronger assurances to our trading partners and consumers about the origins, safety and quality of our seafood.”
Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the development of this technology would be a breakthrough for Australian fishers.
“One of the greatest competitive strengths of Australian seafood is the fact that it is Australian, because Australian seafood is synonymous with being high-quality, safe and sustainably sourced,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.
“But being the best means others want to be like you, and fraudulent seafood comes at significant cost to the sector, which is why this project has the potential to be a major breakthrough for our industry.
“This important technology is the first of its kind, and will help the Australian seafood industry combat food fraud, protect consumer and producer interests, and build confidence in supply chains.
“The device is being developed as a portable, rapid and convenient alternative to current lab-based testing methods to determine the origin of seafood along the supply chain, without requiring a sample.
“The project will begin with a small number of seafood varieties harvested from across Australia and sold in the Sydney Fish Market, but could be broadened to other seafood varieties and agricultural sectors once procedures have been established.
“This is great news for our seafood sector particularly at now as we support the sector’s recovery from COVID-19 with our $4 million investment into an industry-led marketing campaign to encourage Australians to eat more Australian seafood. “
The Traceability Grants program will invest $7 million in grants over two rounds until June 2023. More details are available at agriculture.gov.au/market-access-trade/traceability-grants-program.