9 March 2017… Over 110 guests attended the Peel Development Commission’s ‘Harnessing Food Trends & Agri-Innovation for Profit’ breakfast event at Mandurah Quay Resort on 9 March 2017.  Those in attendance included guests from the broader Peel region as well as the Wheatbelt, South West, Mid West and Perth Metro.

The Peel Development Commission partnered with Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia to bring international speakers to Mandurah in support of the Peel Development Commission’s Transform Peel initiative and its innovative Peel Food Zone.

Transform Peel is the $49.3 million transformational program funded by Royalties for Regions which is located in the Peel region’s Shire of Murray. It comprises three integrated, strategic elements:  a 28,000 ha Peel Food Zone, a 1,000 ha Peel Business Park and the Peel Integrated Water Initiative.  It is a 35 year program which is projected to culminate in 33,000 new jobs and $16.2 billion pa economic output by completion in 2050.

The latest food innovation and agri-business ideas from around the world were tabled by guest speakers at the breakfast, with Commission chairman Paul Fitzpatrick noting the event showcased the Peel and Mandurah region had the potential to become a gourmet food bowl.

“We were delighted to be able to present guest speakers of the calibre of Associate Prof. Vas and Prof. Hughes to raise awareness of our Transform Peel program to ignite discussion and interest in its Peel Food Zone.  The breakfast highlighted the role the Commission plays in developing and supporting agriculture, and focused in on the major role the Department of Agriculture & Food has within the sector and as our partner for the delivery of the Peel Food Zone,” said Paul Fitzpatrick.

UK global food marketing expert Professor David Hughes addressed consumer-driven food and drink trends that are shaping the future. His keynote address was supported by a presentation by innovation expert Associate Professor Christopher Vas from Murdoch University’s Singapore Centre for Research Innovation Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT) on smart urban farm factories.

Associate Prof. Vas is visiting the Peel Development Commission from Singapore to discuss the Peel Food Zone and ways that emerging technology can increase the production of high quality high value produce while helping to protect the unique environment that is Peel.

“The Peel Food Zone has an opportunity to capture new export value by investing in technology intensive horticulture farming. These technologies are in the early growth stages and are already showing commercial promise which is a testament to their future potential,” said Paul Fitzpatrick.

For more information on the Peel Food Zone visit: www.transformpeel.com       ENDS…

Media Contact:        Andrew Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Peel Development Commission, andrew.ward@peel.gov.wa.au, (08) 9535 4140