Food and beverage driving Australian manufacturing

The value to Australian manufacturing of Australia’s $126 billion food, beverage and grocery sector has increased by more than 30 per cent in seven years (2007-08 to 2014-15) according to research by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

AFGC Director of Economics Tanya Barden says the policy paper compiled by EY underlines the importance of Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, food and grocery, which represented 30 per of total Australian manufacturing in 2014-15.

“This report underlines the value of the Australian food and grocery sector at a time when other manufacturing is moving offshore and being buffeted by internal and external economic pressures,” she said.

“Employing over 300,000 Australians, the sector’s industry value add of $29 billion was almost three times higher than the next largest manufacturing subsector – machinery and equipment and fabricated metal.

“This report shows that Australia’s $126 billion food and grocery industry is likely to play an increasingly important role in Australia’s future manufacturing base as traditional manufacturing areas of strength like the car sector move offshore, and export demand for our food and grocery products increases.”

Federal Government Lead Partner and Agribusiness Lead Partner at EY Andrew Metcalfe AO said “analysis conducted by EY has found that Australia’s reputation as a producer of clean and green products remains a key international advantage and, combined with rising global demand for food, gives Australia a great opportunity to drive jobs and investment growth for the future.

“As traditional manufacturing subsectors such as car manufacturing and transport equipment have experienced decline, this has generated opportunities for food and grocery providers to create new jobs and growth is anticipated to continue.”

Ms Barden said: “While domestic conditions remain challenging, food and grocery processing is an area of strong export growth with a 11 per cent surge in food and beverage exports to $26 billion last year. These results show a huge potential for future growth.”

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