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Automating agrifood export compliance is one of six work packages in our Trusted Agrifood Exports initiative.

Goal

To embed digitisation and automation of export compliance into supply chain systems. This will reduce the cost of meeting trade requirements and give regulatory processes the ability to scale and pivot.

Outcome

Digitisation and automation of export compliance will:

  • Lower export barriers and significantly reduce costs
  • Mitigate scalability concerns, facilitating expansion of exports
  • Fully utilise tracing data to support export compliance
  • Provide the necessary agility to shift to different export markets
  • Enable producers to adapt when necessary to changing compliance requirements
  • Maintain confidence in Australian compliance systems.

The problem

The food supply chain is a complex multi-national operation, with numerous levels of regulation and protocols spanning multiple countries in order to guarantee food quality and safety.

The high standards of Australian export regulation are critical for maintaining and building trust in our food. However, the current paper-based system of handling registrations, sign-offs and compliance approvals is costly, highly complex and does not easily scale.

Regulation and compliance costs for Australian agrifood exporters are among the highest in the world; between 0.4 and 0.8% of the farm-gate value of production. Additionally, there are gaps in traceability in current systems.

Our proposed solution

A multi-pronged approach to digitisation and automation of export compliance will be developed which seeks to map the compliance workflows, prioritise areas of highest return from investment, and deploy fit- for-purpose technologies. This will integrate digitised regulations and protocols with digitised workflows and automated compliance checking tools, linking different parties along the supply chain.

Integrated data can then be used to produce a consolidated data package, allowing for automated certification, and building international trust through automation and provability of compliance. Potential activities include the following.

  1. Automate the conversion of export regulation into digital rules and optimise and redesign processes to allow for reliable data workflows.
  2. Design new digital tools to remotely augment export compliance audits of processing facilities (e.g. meat processors or fruit packing houses) through the development of telepresence and sensor technologies.
  3. Develop digital sensory solutions where there are specific data availability issues.
  4. Ensure seamless integration between industry and Australian Government systems, allowing export regulations and protocols to be queried by industry-led digital supply chain platforms.

Partners

Extensive industry and government engagement is needed to understand the required data workflows for export compliance, to identify interoperability, potential pain points and institutional barriers, and to conduct new research into the digitisation of regulations.

CSIRO is working on this research with partners, including:

  • The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • Meat & Livestock Australia
  • Horticultural Innovation
  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

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