Industry considers agri-food council

Jo FulwoodCountryman

Representatives from WA's agricultural sector met last week to discuss a bold plan to form the State's first agricultural industry council.

Department of Agriculture and Food director-general Rob Delane said it was the first time, to his knowledge, representatives from all sectors had sat at the same table to discuss common issues.

Ten delegates attended the meeting, representing the sheep, beef, wine, grains, vegetables, fruit and pork industries.

The meeting also included farm lobby group representatives and a member of the CCI Food Industry Advisory body.

A representative from the dairy industry was unable to attend.

"It is the first time I'm aware of that we have had that level of representation from across the sector together at the same table to discuss common issues and challenges, and look at pooling efforts to address these," he said.

Mr Delane said representatives at the meeting agreed to share existing industry strategy documents, industry development plans and priorities, as part of a collective effort.

"(There was) a strong focus on how the agriculture sector as a whole can productively work together to address difficult cross-sectoral issues," he said.

Mr Delane said this was the first of several meetings for the group.

"Participants are very keen to move forward and are committed to working together," he said.

Mr Delane said DAFWA would provide support for the industry representatives to progress to the next stages of their deliberations.

The next meeting is scheduled for November 14.

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