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The challenge

Evidence-based verification to back Australian produce

Demand for independent, evidence-based food credentialling is increasingly needed for access to high value markets, such as the European Union.

Isotopes are unique chemical signals found in food and the environment that can provide accurate information about food production characteristics and environmental factors such as soil nutrients and groundwater flows. This data can be used as evidence to verify credentials, such as how sustainable a product is, to improve Australia's access to overseas markets.

Australia's public research organisations have vast amounts of isotopic data. But this data is often disparate and siloed. Connecting these databases is key to supporting Australian agriculture, water and food systems to continually support research and commercial outcomes for Australia.

Our response

Leveraging isotopes across the supply chain

Dr Nina Welti is building a picture of where Australian food is grown and how.

We are creating a reliable and trusted national digital platform to bring together isotopic data from across Australian research organisations.

We are developing it in partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Geoscience Australia and the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and co-funded by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC).

The platform will connect environmental data sets and insights from across the supply chain to support food product verification and credentialing.

Leveraging this isotopic data platform will also support Australian product evaluations in terms of yield, quality and management practices and sustainability factors.

The results

Informing the origin of agriculture and food products

Isotopic data serves as objective, quantifiable evidence that can be trusted by regulators and the public.

The platform's development is informed by FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles to ensure it is accessible and trusted. As a verification tool, it can inform the geographical origins for agricultural and food products, including the way they were grown, a key factor in commodity trade.

Researchers can also utilise this isotopic data platform to drive the development of standards for reuse and recycling purposes, facilitating decisions in food wastage and improving sustainability.

Realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the food system requires collaboration. The future is not just collecting data, but creating shared benefits for public good research and commercial outcomes. Use cases from industry, peak bodies, universities and other research organisations will help to inform how the data resource will be developed and operated in a way that is relevant, accessible and serves the needs of different sectors.

Register your interest to participate and develop the future at Connecting/Federating Stable Isotopic Data Resources

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