Shoestring visit to butchery in Western Australia with DPIRD

Western Australia’s food and beverage industry embrace Shoestring

Results from the first overseas implementation of Shoestring show there is overwhelming support for the programme amongst the food and beverage industry in Western Australia.

As the second phase of the Western Australia regional rollout of Shoestring kicks off this summer, Liz Salter from the Shoestring team spent two weeks in Western Australia working with the Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) who are running and funding the programme. Whilst there, Liz visited three of the companies already engaged in Shoestring’s regional programme – a butcher, a brewery and kombucha company – as well as four wineries in Margaret River who have just come aboard.

Shoestring and DPIRD visited Stella Bella (photo above left),  Shelter Brewing (top right, Hippie Kombucha, at which you can also see a Shoestring solution set up to monitor air quality with the dashboard displaying on the monitor (bottom right), Ryan’s Quality Meats (photo at top of page) as well as the Leeuwin Estate.

The resounding success of the Shoestring Awareness workshop in September 2022, which kickstarted this regional first phase, saw all 16 food and beverage businesses that participated indicating a desire to move forward with Shoestring’s digitalisation process. Consequently, the Shoestring team and the DPIRD decided to move straight into direct pilot company engagement activity rather than running further multi-company events. Five companies subsequently completed the Selection and Specification Workshops and identified an initial digital solution to target their business priorities. These solutions are being designed and built during phase two.

Photo above: The Shoestring Selection Workshop at Howard Park, discussing digital solution areas for the wine industries.

The trip undoubtedly showcased the incredible potential and benefits of this innovative approach to businesses, igniting excitement for the future collaborations and opportunities it holds.” Kim Antonio, DPIRD

During Phase one the DPIRD team were familiarised with Shoestring and Phase two sees the start of training and capacity building to enable delivery of Shoestring at scale in the region. This collaborative approach will enable cycles of continuous improvement to Shoestring which will benefit businesses not only in Western Australia and the UK, but other regions that adopt Shoestring, running regional scoping studies and rollouts.

DPIRD’s Awareness workshop last year showed that the demand for digital solution areas in this region, and also for the food and beverage sector, is very similar to that seen across different sectors in the UK. The chart below illustrates the most popular digital solution areas selected by the workshop participants, revealing the high level of consistency with the Shoestring ranking from the output of over 30 similar workshops attended by over 400 companies in the UK.

Image above: Digital Solution Areas chosen and ranked by participants in the Western Australia Shoestring Awareness workshop with food and beverage companies (September 2022)

The reach of Shoestring has already extended out into Western Australia’s wider food and beverage community, with Duncan McFarlane, Professor of Industrial Information Engineering at the University of Cambridge and Shoestring’s founder, presenting a keynote at a key regional food and beverage sector event, Turning the Dial, in February. Duncan and Liz also met leaders from a Perth college, North Metropolitan TAFE, to discuss possible engagement opportunities for the Further Education sector, and explore the potential for developing joint training material.

Following Liz’s visit, Kim Antonio, Manager of the Agribusiness Food and Trade Industry and Economic Development at DPIRD, said:

Liz formed a wonderful rapport with the DPIRD Shoestring project team as well as the stakeholders she met from companies, the education sector and government stakeholders. The insights gathered during her visit provided a useful basis for understanding the issues impacting Western Australian manufacturing businesses and helped with ensuring a well-informed and strategic approach of future phases of shoestring here in WA.”

During this second phase of the programme the Shoestring and DPIRD teams will work with businesses to specify further Shoestring pilot solutions, build demonstrators and run pilot trials. In addition four wineries are joining a cohort to learn how to deploy the Power Monitoring Starter Solution, and a further cohort of craft brewers is planned.

Interested in joining Shoestring’s Western Australia food industry pilot?

For more information on Western Australia’s Shoestring programme visit the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s website

Keen to set up a Shoestring in your region?

If you are a governmental or regional organisation keen to find out how you could commission a Shoestring scoping pilot and regional rollout, email:

Header image: Shoestring & DPIRD visit Ryan’s Quality Meat