Firstly, thank you. Without your support and interest, this initiative would not have progressed this far. Whilst the site is still in development, it is live and fully functional. You are welcome to fire as many questions as you can to help test the platform. We refer to this stage of the project as the “learning launch” (or "incubation phase” using the start-up jargon that is becoming more popular in the food sector). Regardless of the term, this is an important for testing and collecting feedback to improve the platform. During this phase access to the network and expert insights is free. So take advantage of this now as we are planning to introduce the payment for services soon. Please ask a question that you might have regarding a product or ingredient.
What are the costs involved?
At this stage of development, fees for service are still being finalised. We know from our conversations with the industry that access to knowledge and experience is hard to get, so we work hard to source the right people with the right expertise to help you solve your food manufacturing challenges with more confidence. Building Healthier Foods is intended to be an asset to your business, and so, to remain available for the long-term we need to cover the associated costs for the platform and the expertise. It is worth noting that the organisation that runs the site (Food Innovation Australia Limited) is a not-for-profit organisation. Government funding will help to subsidise use and access, where possible. Our ongoing focus is simple, to ensure that the value of this service delivered outweighs the costs to you.
Partnering with VicHealth to help salt reduction; an example of funding support via the BHF site
At the learning launch of the BHF, we announced the partnership between Food Innovation Australia and VicHelath to provide fund to reduce salt in foods in Victoria. Based on user feedback, we’ve simplified the application process for these grants. This includes providing expert support to prepare a project plan, and to find the right people to help complete an application. For more information about the grants here's a document that explains everything. For registered members, the easiest way to access support is to use the Ask feature within BHF and simply express your interest in applying for a grant.
Please feel free to make contact via email or submit feedback via the BHF site. We need your insights to help to develop and improve the BHF site so it best meets your needs.
Angus Crossan is currently the Leader of The FIAL Matrix and Innovation Manager at Food Innovation Australia Limited. The FIAL Matrix is a new collaborative portal system supporting innovation in agri-food businesses in Australia. Angus is also an experienced start-up venture builder, innovation trainer, and investor in agri-food research and innovation.