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Media releases

Boosting Gippsland's food and fibre industry

Posted: Thursday 29 July 2021

Seven food and fibre projects across Gippsland will receive a major boost as part of the ‘What’s Your Food or Fibre Challenge, Gippsland?’ initiative. 

From bringing native bush foods to market, to developing a Gippsland-made fish sauce from carp, the initiative will help bring innovative ideas to life with research and industry expert support.  

What’s Your Food or Fibre Challenge, Gippsland? was launched in March at Federation University’s Morwell Innovation Centre.  

The initiative invited the local food and fibre sector to pitch how by solving their challenges they could grow their businesses and their industry. 

Businesses across Gippsland with diverse challenges participated in the initiative and the following applicants were successful:

  • Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation
  • Bulmer Farms 
  • Kiel Industries 
  • Ingram Wild Caught Fisheries 
  • Gurneys Cider 
  • South Gippsland Dairy 
  • Gippsland Jersey 

These organisations will receive comprehensive research and innovation support, funding and collaboration from experts and leaders in academia, business, science and the food and fibre industry. 

The food and fibre sector contributes $7 billion of Gippsland’s $16 billion gross regional product and is expected to grow, according to the 2019 KPMG report ‘Accelerating growth for the Gippsland food and fibre industry’. 

‘What’s your Food or Fibre Challenge, Gippsland?’ is funded by the Victorian Government’s Gippsland Regional Partnership. 

It is being delivered by Federation University and Food & Fibre Gippsland with partnership and support provided by Regional Development Victoria, Food Agility CRC, Food Innovation Australia Limited, Latrobe Valley Authority, TAFE Gippsland and the Committee for Gippsland. 

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Jane Garrett 

“The food and fibre sector will play an important role in Gippsland’s future prosperity, and we are proud to support an initiative that is backed by the local community and which has the potential to foster innovative and world-leading solutions.” 

“Gippsland is home to some our best and brightest and its terrific that through the Morwell Innovation Centre we are creating a place where these ideas can become a reality.” 

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing 

“From commercialising native bush foods to a project that is helping turn Gippsland into a world-leading dairy hub – it’s clear we have an absolute abundance of innovative and resourceful businesses in the Gippsland region.” 

“I’m delighted the Victorian Government has been able to assist in nurturing these businesses and I can’t wait to see how these transformative projects take shape.” 

Quotes attributable to Federation University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Duncan Bentley  

“As Gippsland’s university, we have a key role to play in creating local jobs and driving economic growth through government and industry partnerships like the Food and Fibre Challenge.” 

“We hope to see more programs like this in Gippsland – by bringing together our expertise in education and research with the strengths of government and local industry, we can help local businesses grow to create new jobs and boost the region’s economy." 

Quotes attributable to Food and Fibre Gippsland Chief Executive Officer, Nicola Pero 

“Gippsland’s food and fibre businesses have embraced the opportunity to be involved in this program and the power of the collaboration will be so important as they engage with community, government, research and industry to develop solutions to their challenges - we’re looking forward to seeing their outcomes.” 

Quotes attributable to Gippsland Regional Partnership Chair, Therese Tierney 

“The Gippsland Regional Partnership is pleased to support and advocate for the food and fibre industry in Gippsland.” 

“We extend our congratulations to the successful businesses and we wish them well in solving their challenges, and hopefully, converting them to opportunities.” 

What’s Your Food or Fibre Challenge, Gippsland?  


Bush food 

Organisation: Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) 

This project will enable GLaWAC to carry the Gunaikurnai people’s 60,000-year history of land care and custodianship into the future by producing a feasibility study into commercial product opportunities for native bush foods in the region. 

Trickle tape recycling 

Organisation: Bulmer Farms 

This project will involve research into the possible reuse or recycling options for single-use, non-biodegradable trickle tape that is used to maximise water in Bulmer Farms’ intensive vegetable farming. It aims to make their business and local agriculture more sustainable. 

Flexible food grade bin liner 

Organisation: Kiel Industries 

This project aims to help Kiel Industries develop a biodegradable food-grade bin liner that is strong enough to transport seafood while having the flexibility to sit within collapsible transport bins. The bin-liners will reduce the economic and environmental cost on the return journey from market. 

Carp fish sauce 

Organisation: Ingram Wild Caught Fisheries 

This project will help to develop a business and marketing plan for Ingram Wild Caught Fisheries’ fish sauce made from carp. The sauce has the potential to become the only Australian-made fish sauce, while solving the environmental problem caused by this major pest in Gippsland’s waterways. 

Cider pasteurisation 

Organisation: Gurneys Cider 

This project will assist Gurneys Cider with research into the most efficient and environmentally friendly pasteurisation process for their business. It will enable them and potentially other small-to-medium cider breweries to scale up and grow their businesses. 

Colostrum tablet and powder 

Organisation: South Gippsland Dairy 

This project seeks to undertake market development of colostrum as a commercial product and to conduct clinical trials and research. It aims to kick-start South Gippsland Dairy’s engagement in the human nutrition space and to help grow the local colostrum market segment for other dairies. 

Dairy factory of the future 

Organisation: Gippsland Jersey 

This project seeks to develop a feasibility study into Gippsland Jersey creation of a centrally located, all-inclusive dairy manufacturing plant for Gippsland Jersey that will enable supply chain efficiencies and attract a visitor economy, helping to make Gippsland a world-leading dairy hub. 

Media Contact: Rama Razy (FedUni) 0400 925 746  | Jody O’Brien (Food & Fibre Gippsland) 0416 222 899

Contact Rama Razy
Media and Communications Advisor
0400 925 746