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To embed and integrate 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.


Digitisation and automation of export compliance will:

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

  • 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 per cent of the farm-gate value of production. Additionally, there are gaps in traceability in current systems.

Our 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.

Key activities and progress

Continuous assurance of food safety

Food safety audits are a mandatory precondition for food trade in Australia and are currently paper-based and undertaken in person. This is slow and expensive.

To reduce this regulatory burden, we are designing an analytical platform to capture real-time stream data for food processing plants to automate the compliance process and provide continuous assurances.

New sensors for pest detection

We are developing new sensors to automate compliance for a range of export requirements. For example, pest and disease remain a major barrier for domestic and international trade.

Early-stage infestations in fruit, such as fruit flies, are inspected manually which is timely and expensive. We are adapting optical scanning technologies to automate early detection of pests.

Digitised regulations

To bring costs down and streamline processes for regulatory compliance, we are integrating digitised regulations and protocols with digitised workflows and automated compliance checking tools.

Our focus is to develop technologies that integrate with existing supply-chain systems to seamlessly help farmers and processors embed regulatory changes and the associated compliance requirements for export.


The Trusted Agrifood Exports Mission is a partnership between CSIRO, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Meat & Livestock Australia to digitally transform Australia's agrifood supply chain and grow export premiums across commodities.

We are also working with collaborators across industry, the research sector and government on key projects to reach our goal. This includes Safe Food Production Queensland and Apple & Pear Australia Ltd.

Partner with us to tackle Australia’s big challenges

To join us or learn more about the missions program, please contact us.

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