Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Putting the heart into food and grocery

Retail World explores how local sourcing and sustainability are shaping the food and grocery landscape in Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing industry increased its value to $133.6 billion in 2020/21, according to the Australian Food & Grocery Council’s ‘State of Industry 2022’ report.

The figures, released last month, showed that turnover increased by 0.9 per cent despite a 17.1 per cent fall in the value of exports as global supply chain disruptions affected sales to major export markets in Asia and the US.

Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden emphasises the industry’s vital role in taking fresh produce from the nation’s farmers and turning it into the “high-quality products that Australians know and love”, while employing more than 270,000 people, 40 per cent of them in regional areas.

“Food and grocery manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, accounting for 32 per cent of the nation’s manufacturing capability,” she told Retail World.

Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayer points to the Australian agribusiness sector (primary production and the value-added food and beverage industry) as the “unsung hero of our economy for many reasons”.

“It’s a huge sector in dollar terms, employs a lot of people in capital cities and rural communities and, most importantly, we produce much more food than we consume many times over, so food security per se is not an issue for Australians,” she told Retail World. “That’s not the case for a number of other countries around the world.”

Read the full feature on Sustaining Local: A Spotlight on Australia and New Zealand in the September issue of Retail World.

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