A McGowan Government would work with growers, farmers and other food industry members from Donnybrook-Balingup to create a food processing hub at Kemerton Industrial Park.
Shadow Agriculture Minister and Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said he would engage stakeholders from Donnybrook-Balingup to bring together packaging, distribution and transport to create efficiencies for the South West food industry.
“Food hubs or co-ops allow farmers, growers and other food producers to work collectively on the marketing and distribution of their products,” he said.
“We will engage farmers and food producers from throughout the South West to develop a food hub at Kemerton to create new opportunities for growers and farmers, with smaller players in particular to see benefits.”
Mr Murray said smaller growers and farmers were often challenged by a lack of distribution and processing infrastructure of appropriate scale to reach potentially beneficial food markets.
“The smaller grower does not have the economies of scale of some of the bigger producers and that means they often do not have the ability to access certain markets,” Mr Murray said.
“A regional food hub at Kemerton would open up those opportunities without placing an unsustainable burden on the individual grower, giving them access to markets that would be otherwise inaccessible.”
Mr Murray said a McGowan Government would encourage a push into high-value Asian markets to capitalise on the potential of WA’s world-class food products. He said the government would develop an Asian Business Strategy to increase export opportunities, with a regional business portal to support country small and medium businesses moving into new export markets.