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New Food And Fibre Chains Program

The Hon Mark Vaile MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry

6 July 1999

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Mark Vaile, today welcomed the start of the new $9.2 million Food and Fibre Chains Program - pitched at boosting exports to Asia and beyond.

Mr Vaile said the Program, funded in the last Budget, delivers on the Government's election commitment to help Australia's food and fibre industries achieve world best practice in supply chain management.

"Australian industry must have the flexibility to adjust to the rapid changes happening in the world's food and fibre markets," he said.

"It's imperative that we establish competitive value chains that respond to consumer demands, help to control costs through the chain and guarantee quality and safety. And an important part of that process is ensuring that there is much closer cooperation at all levels of the chain from the producer to the consumer."

Mr Vaile said that industry would be given responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Program through Agri Chain Solutions Ltd (ACS), a subsidiary of Supermarket to Asia (STA) Ltd.

"And I'm pleased with the high calibre of people who have agreed to be directors of this management company," Mr Vaile said. "They will bring to the Program a wide range of agri-food and fibre business, export and supply chain skills.

"The company will be headed by the Chair of STA Ltd, currently Malcolm Irving, and include seven others:

Jim Kennedy, Executive Director STA Ltd;

Maurice Crotti, Managing Director, San Remo Macaroni Pty Ltd (food processing);

John Ashby, Director Asia Pacific, AT Kearney (logistics and chain management);

David Farley, Marketing Director, Kahlbetzer Investments (cotton, cattle & cereals);

Ian Donges, President, National Farmers Federation;

Bev Clarke, First Assistant Secretary, Food & Agribusiness Industries Division, AFFA; and

Lyndel Jack, National Manager-Agribusiness, Austrade.

The first meeting of the new board will be held today in Canberra. Mr Vaile said the Program would support projects, generally with matching funding from industry, which improve relationships, linkages and efficiency throughout the chain.

Guidelines and details for project applicants will be available from ACS Ltd on (02) 6270 8800.

The Hon Mark Vaile MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry

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