Food Agility's vision is becoming a reality on the ground through AgTech specialist firm and CRC partner The Yield Lab.
Barilla Bay Oysters is a major producer of oysters with over 100 hectares in oyster leases. They are fully integrated with a processing plant for frozen half-shells, a restaurant, a shop and a tourist centre.
Oysters are live products which command a premium price. Live oysters from Australia return 10 times a tonne more than cooked oysters from China. There is a big market potential in Asia with growers reporting up to 600 per cent margins for exported oysters.
Oyster sales rely on Australia's reputation for excellent food safety standards. They are filter animals. When it rains, oysters accumulate toxins from land run-off. Based on data from the nearest weather station, the regulator then closes oyster farms temporarily to protect human health.
Each closure can cost growers like Barilla Bay Oysters between $A20,000 to $A100,000 a day. Nationally this costs around $34 million annually. Analysis indicates closures can be reduced by at least 30 per cent using real-time salinity sensors.
“We are currently in a commercial trial with CRC partner The Yield Lab,” Barilla Bay Oysters Manager Justin Goc said.
“Using their technology, we can reduce the number of harvesting closure days giving an instant return on investment.”