AHEaD research group helping Gippsland farming industry expand into the digital realm

Helping local farmers with communication technology skills could improve their businesses

A project supported by Federation University’s Animal Health, Ecology and Diagnostics (AHEaD) research group is helping local agribusinesses digitise and improve their business efficiency and productivity.

Dr Danielle Auldist from Federation University’s School of Health and Life Sciences supported Food & Fibre Gippsland in the project while on secondment with AHEaD.

Food & Fibre Gippsland is a merger between Agribusiness Gippsland and the East Gippsland Food Cluster.

This new organisation has secured $250k in funding to look into digitising processes for local farmers and businesses including Gippsland Jersey, Cannibal Creek Winery, Gippsland Natural, Sailors Grave Brewing and Maffra Cheese Co.

By assisting them with their efforts in the digital space, the project has helped these food and fibre producers do business better by improving their communication capabilities using digital platforms connected with everything from logistics and transport to product quality and sales.

One of the project’s aims was to help develop a compelling message about provenance of the region’s agricultural products and ideally expand into new markets.

For AHEaD, the project has provided insights into the Gippsland region, particularly that there are greater opportunities to address the gaps in regional information and communication technology skills.

Other insights provided to AHEad through the project have been the importance of culture and leadership, and the value of building close and trusted relationships when enabling innovation.

AHEad is a multidisciplinary research centre that brings together cutting-edge technology, biotechnology and innovative scientific methods to create solutions for human and animal health challenges.

The research group works collaboratively at the intersection between animal disease, human disease, and ecology and conservation.

The Food & Fibre Gippsland project forms part of AHEaD’s mission to strengthen its collaborations and networks and further demonstrate its capabilities in the community.