The Palaszczuk Government is helping Ipswich and Toowoomba business to upskill producers and suppliers in e-commerce and support agriculture jobs.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said e-commerce was rapidly expanding, especially during the pandemic, and Queensland businesses needed to be at the forefront of this change.
She said the Government was partnering with Toowoomba Food Leaders Australia and the Ipswich Food and Agribusiness Network to help companies harness the change.
“Agriculture is a vital part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” Ms Howard said.
“This program is all about helping our primary producers connect with their customers because that mean support for jobs.
“We want to see local agri-food companies attracting even more domestic buyers by selling directly online.”
Ipswich Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) President Phillip Bell said COVID had created an enormous shift in purchasing behaviours, including greater confidence in online purchases from the over 50s market.
“This is critical information and a critical time for our agribusinesses to ensure they are not left out in the cold when it comes to extending their business through their digital footprint,” said Mr Bell.
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) Export Manager for Food and Agribusiness Justin Heaven said the program would demystify the challenges around online sales for food and agri businesses, help align internal processes to meet buyer demands and help commercialise their ecommerce product offering.
“We will work with each business to understand their current position, look at how they could expand their online presence or focus their e-commerce journey on a targeted range of products that offer the greatest potential for success,” Mr Heaven said.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the initiative followed a KPMG report into Queensland agriculture e-commerce and the current level of participation, barriers and opportunities.
“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries used the findings to design this ‘Growing Online E-commerce Capability of Queensland Agri-food Companies Pilot Project’,” Mr Furner said.
“The agri-food companies participating in this first project produce goods that are well suited to e-commerce, such as premium meats, dairy, fruit, vegetables and honey.”
The E-commerce Pilot Project is funded through the $5 million Reinvigorated Trade Relationships program, an initiative under the Queensland Government’s Unite and Recover Strategy.