In the lead up to his campaign for re-election, Australian prime minister John Howard has unveiled a five year plan worth A$100m (US$49.4m) to boost the food industry.

At today's annual meeting of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Howard revealed via video link that the plan would be implemented from July 2002.

"These initiatives are designed to provide a coherent, effective strategy in the years ahead to develop and underpin opportunities and the capacity to expand of your industry," he explained.

The five year plan includes a A$50m package to boost innovation and A$23m to promote government and industry focus on export markets. The government and industry will also set up a new global supply chain and food safety programme.