Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Inquiry into food and beverage manufacturing opportunities

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources will inquire into opportunities for innovation and growth in the food and beverage manufacturing industry in Australia.

Food manufacturing is the largest sector in Australia’s manufacturing industry, employing more than 20% of all manufacturing workers.

Governments have long recognised the sector’s export growth potential, given Australia’s established reputation and trade relationships as a top exporter of high-quality agricultural produce.

Committee Chair Rob Mitchell MP says the food industry was on the cusp of great opportunities as well as challenges.

“Australian scientists and food manufacturers are making inroads into high-tech emerging sectors and developing new high value-added products built on our world-class agricultural sector. They are adopting process innovations to make traditional food and beverages tastier, safer, cleaner and more productive.

“At the same time, the sector innovating and finding alternative sources for fossil fuel-based process heat, reducing water consumption and waste, and developing packaging solutions that keep plastic pollution out of landfill and our oceans.

Mr Mitchell said, “The inquiry will examine the state of innovation in the industry, including new technologies for post-farmgate food and beverage manufacturing and packaging, and opportunities for growth in new product markets. It will also consider shifting consumer trends, the role of the research sector and future workforce needs.

“We want to hear from large and small manufacturers about their experiences, hopes and fears for the future – whether you’re a food and drink business top-10 firm, a third-generation family business, or in the start-up or venture capital sectors. We are also looking for the views of experts in food science, process engineering and packaging.

“This is such a diverse and exciting part of our economy. We want to hear about how the Government can support the sector to thrive.”

The Committee invites written submissions addressing any or all of the inquiry terms of reference by 1 May, 2024. The terms of reference and additional information on the inquiry can be found on the Committee’s website.

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