Monday, July 22, 2024

Food SA launches first-of-its-kind sustainability search tool

Food South Australia has launched an AI-powered environmental sustainability search tool. AskSASI, short for the South Australian Environmental Sustainability Accreditation Searcher and Investigator, is set to revolutionise how food and beverage producers in the state identify the necessary environmental sustainability accreditations for their products in both international and Australian markets.

ESG compliance (Environmental, Sustainability, Governance) is becoming increasingly crucial to both international supply chains and consumers alike. South Australian food and beverage manufacturing businesses face the challenge of determining which sustainability indicators, credentials and accreditations are relevant for export markets due to the absence of a unified global accreditation system.

AskSASI has been developed to assist these businesses in navigating the complex landscape of environmental sustainability accreditations. This innovative, user-friendly, web-based tool utilises AI technology to search the Food South Australia Sustainability Matrix, providing tailored information specific to each business and its products, through a series of questions

“Environmental Sustainability Accreditation can be complex for small businesses to navigate,” said Ray Borda, Chair of Food South Australia.

“We are excited to have developed AskSASI to simplify the process for food and beverage businesses to find the relevant accreditations for various markets.”

Five Food South Australia members participated in trialling AskSASI, including Golden North Ice Cream. David Wilson, Manager for Supermarkets & Export at Golden North Ice Cream, said, “This tool provides companies with critical information that is valuable for planning and developing export strategies. It is very user-friendly with clear descriptions and provides results with a few clicks of your mouse, allowing anyone to extract the information at speed.”

The End Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Food South Australia have funded the development of AskSASI and the Adelaide Business School at the University of Adelaide, were commissioned to develop AskSASI as a business decision-making tool.

“We are confident that it will be of great benefit to many South Australian food and beverage producers looking to understand the importance of adding sustainability accreditations to their product offerings depending on their export markets of choice,” said Dr Rebecca Dolan, Associate Professor at the Adelaide Business School.

AskSASI is currently a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with the aim for it to be taken to full capacity in the future. The tool stems from the South Australian Food and Beverage 5-Year Export Strategy, which highlighted the need for businesses to have relevant environmental sustainability accreditations to maintain and grow access in key markets.

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