Time to think big & fresh on trade: A fresh food precinct for Western Sydney Airport

The NSW Farmers’ Association welcomes the Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair’s trade mission to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia. The Association urges the Minister to establish a ‘fresh food precinct’ at the proposed Western Sydney Airport to make NSW the premier state for premium fresh food exports to Asia and the Middle-East.

“Throughout Asia and the Middle-East the demand for clean green fresh food is sky-rocketing, and Australia’s reputation for fresh food is second to none,” said NSW Farmers’ CEO Matt Brand. 

In its joint Green Paper with KPMG, Think Big Think Fresh: A fresh food precinct for Western Sydney, the Association is calling for a fully integrated high-tech intensive food producing precinct that will grow high value produce within the airport precinct ready to be shipped to lucrative overseas markets like the UAE.

“To capture the premium fresh food market, and associated premium prices, food has to make it from paddock to consumers’ plate within 36-48 hours; one solution is collocating food production within the Western Sydney Airport precinct, particularly the production of highly perishable produce.”

Despite our reputation as a leading agricultural country, Australia does not rank in the top ten food producing nations.

“A country like Netherlands is no bigger than Tasmania, yet is now the second largest food exporting nation in the world. Some twenty years ago, a visionary Dutch Government established the blueprint for a world leading agricultural sector, centred on producing and exporting food at the Port of Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport,” Mr Brand said.

The Association urges the Minister for Trade and Industry and the NSW Government to follow the Dutch example, and make Australia a leading agricultural country again. 

“At Dubai’s Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality event, we hope that the Minister sees the reputation and demand for Australian produce, and the significant opportunities that a Fresh Food Precinct at Western Sydney Airport would bring in exploiting this demand.”

The report, Think Big Think Fresh: A fresh food precinct for Western Sydney can be found at:   http://www.nswfarmers.org.au/NSWFA/Content/IndustryPolicy/thinking_agriculture.aspx 

Media Contact:   Kathleen Curry  |  Public Affairs Director | 0429 011 690
Date: Tuesday 20 February 2018