In Australia, the government has underlined its commitment to investing in regional food production with the launch of a new A$40m investment scheme to back the growth of innovative food and seafood industries.
Tony Burke, minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, announced that applications for funding programmes were open as part of three categories.
In the first category, the Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity programme will see grants of A$50,000-A$2m for projects involving new technologies, processing or production methods.
The second category involves the promotion of Australian produce, providing companies with grants between A$50,000 and A$750,000 to aid with marketing efforts.
The third category is the Promoting Australian Produce (Major Events) programme, supporting national events with the aim of promoting efficiency along supply chains.
"The Rudd government recognises the role of the food and seafood industries in the nation's economy and in rural and regional communities," said Mr Burke. "We need to maintain a competitive edge for our food production sector by boosting productivity right along the production chain and value-adding to capitalise on new markets."
Grant recipients will be required to match the funding they receive dollar-for-dollar, Mr Burke added.