These are exciting times for agriculture and food innovation, especially for the Peel region. The rapid increase in world food demand, plus the growing  and for food provenance, is creating growth and new opportunities in the sector.

The region’s unique peri-urban location and proximity to existing export infrastructure, puts us in a strong position to take advantage of existing and emerging market opportunities and indeed to becoming a regional hub for innovation in food and agriculture.

Achieving the vision for Peel as a progressive, prosperous and dynamic region with a culture of care is underpinned by five themes that represent opportunity inherent to Peel’s unique regional characteristics.  Agriculture and food innovation, and tourism excellence are two of those pillars. While they may seem quite separate, the overlap of the pillars is where we find some of Peel’s unique opportunities.

You only have to look to some of the stories in this edition of Peel Magazine to get a feel for our region’s unique flavour in agriculture enterprises and tourism experiences, and how our agriculture and food industries provide product and input to our tourism offerings.

The new Marradong Country trails are a great example of highlighting some of the region’s natural assets and unique experiences, coupled with our proximity to Perth, as an exciting destination. Featuring wine, wheat and wool, natural landscapes and rural reflections, the Marradong Trails show off both Peel’s agriculture and food innovation, and tourism personality.

The Peel Wine Association is another example of that unique overlap, as is Hall’s Family Dairy where the hallmark of innovation is the extension of traditional methods by applying new approaches, new ideas and new technologies to achieve better and more sustainable outcomes.

The Future Food Systems CRC epitomises this way of thinking by looking at food as a whole system where research, collaboration and investment can sustainably deliver world-best quality to premium markets. Developing regional food hubs helps harness a region’s characteristic strengths and inherent opportunities, building a brand around that uniqueness.

Of course, the Shire of Murray’s Agri-Innovation Precinct within the Peel Business Park will be a major enabler in agri-business in the Peel.

The Agri-Innovation Precinct is set to become an agri-business ecosystem supporting business growth, university led research and development and access to new domestic and export markets.

Expressions of interest received by the Shire of Murray have demonstrated a high level of interest and support from the business community and we look forward to continued achievements and milestones as we develop this unique hub with all the benefits to the region.

The spring/summer edition of the magazine captures a few of the fantastic examples of agriculture and food innovation and tourism excellence that our region is becoming known for — enjoy.

Andrew Ward

Chief Executive Officer

Peel Development Commission

This article was first published in the Peel Magazine, Spring/Summer – vol 5.2 – to read and download the full magazine, click here.