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Tue 11, Dec 2018

Professionals working in agriculture now have their own industry accreditation scheme, following the launch of Ag Institute Australia’s (AIA) Chartered Agricultural program (CAg).

The scheme was officially launched at Brave New World – Ag to 2030 in Sydney, AIA’s National Conference. CAg will underpin the confidence of the public and the profession that the advice and services provided by CAg’s promote best practice standards.

The national accreditation scheme will focus on three areas of professional development, including technical skills, professional and ethical standards, and continuing professional development. More information on AIA’s accreditation program can be found here -

The conference also saw five ag-tech start-ups present their business cases through the Brave Pitch competition. From a compostable alternative for plastic fresh food packaging, to a seasonal staffing solution and a feed ration management app, the competition was an exciting glimpse into the future of the agriculture.

The winner of the Brave Pitch competition was Kimberly Bolton from CARAPAC, a compostable alternative to plastic, ideal for fresh food packaging. Produced from crustacean waste, it is durable through the supply chain and can even extend the shelf life of food due to inherent antifungal properties.

As the Brave Pitch winners, the CARAPAC team receives a $1000 prize, expert patent advice from KL Gates, access to the Thought for Food international community of 12,000 and the opportunity to be involved with future international Thought for Food summits. Find out more about CARAPAC at

AIA Chair Turlough Guerin says while the Brave New World – Ag to 2030 conference saw a number of significant events take place, none were more important than the Brave Pitch.

“It was inspiring to see such a high quality of ag-tech start-ups in various stages of development,” he commented. “It really showed not only that the future of agricultural technology is in safe hands, but also reinforced the important guiding role that organisations like AIA have in enabling this evolution.”

Another highlight of the conference was a keynote address by the Director General of CIMMYT, during which Martin Kropff challenged industry to do more with less. He shared the extent to which varieties from CIMMYT are now being promulgated across the globe, making the point that maintaining and enhancing the genetic stock of agricultural plants is vital for meeting future supply of food.

“Technology was also a central theme at Brave New World, with presentations on precision agriculture and the application of wearable technologies of augmented reality and virtual reality as it can apply to agriculture,” Mr Guerin continued.

“We saw digital agriculture come to life through applications in blockchain, to supermarkets of the future where we can see labels tell the story of particular products.”


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