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> Buy Western Australian, Government Urges Western Australian Food Industry
post Nov 7 2007, 04:33 PM
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Premier Alan Carpenter has urged the food industry to back a new food marketing program to promote Western Australian produce to local consumers.

The Premier said the Western Australian Government had committed $1million over three years for the ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ program, which was specifically tailored to the needs of the food industry by promoting the West Australian content and quality of food products to consumers.

“’Buy West, Eat Best’ will provide consumers with an assurance they are buying food products made right here in Western Australia,” Mr Carpenter said.

“It also addresses consumers’ increasing demand for State-of-Origin products being identified on supermarket shelves.”

Mr Carpenter said the ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ program would be managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA), which assumed responsibility for the food portfolio in April 2006.

“Strict criteria have been developed for the program, relating to the local content, safety and registration of food products,” he said.

“For example, fresh foods must have been ‘grown, farmed or fished’ in Western Australia.

“Processed foods must have all main ingredients grown, farmed or fished in Western Australia and the goods must have been processed in Western Australia.”

Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance said ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ was a voluntary program, but he urged industry to participate in the program.

“The program will be backed by a strong marketing and advertising campaign, and it is aimed to launch ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ to consumers in early 2008,” he said.

Mr Chance said DAFWA had also been working on a number of other key initiatives for the food industry, including FoodNET, which is aimed at providing the Western Australian food and beverage industry with technical and scientific information, network opportunities and knowledge transfer.

“Information is sourced through the strong strategic alliances the department has formed with organisations, including Leatherhead Food International (based in the UK), Curtin University’s Food Science department, Food Science Australia and other Federal and State government departments,” he said.

Mr Chance said DAFWA was also instrumental in the establishment of the Food Industry Association of Western Australia (FIA) in May this year.

“The FIA will act as the peak body representing members from various food processing industry sectors,” he said.

“It will also look to create alliances with other Western Australian food organisations and regional food groups.”

The Minister said a whole-of-Government strategy to address issues facing the WA food industry was also being developed.

“The Western Australia food industry represents a significant part of the State’s economy, with the direct annual turnover of the Western Australian food manufacturing industry estimated at $5.5billion,” he said.

More information on the ‘Buy West, Eat Best’ program can be found at www.buywesteatbest.wa.gov.au

Ben, Skype "Perth-", Western Australia
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