The release of the Australian Government’s Food and Beverage National Manufacturing Priority Road Map sets out a clear path for Australia’s vitally important food and beverage industry, Australian Food and Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden said.
The food and beverage sector was named as one of six national manufacturing priorities by the government in 2020 and since then the AFGC has been working closely with the government on the development of a road map that meets the needs of the industry and positions it to grow to its full potential.
Ms Barden said the road map identifies growth and investment opportunities as well as the fragilities that must be addressed while outlining two, five and 10 year goals for the sector to realise its vision of doubling in size by 2030.
“Food and beverage is already Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, employing 229,000 people, many in regional and rural areas,” Ms Barden said.
“Food and beverage manufacturing also has large flow-on benefits to other sectors, such as agriculture, packaging, transport and logistics, so a doubling in size of this important industry will be a significant boost to Australia’s post-Covid economic recovery.”
Ms Barden said the road map provides a clear guide to leveraging the sector’s inherent strength and addressing key challenges.
“The sector has real growth potential, particularly in export markets but faces increased import competition as a result of Australia’s high costs of production,” she said.
“The funding available through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative will help the industry to make a step-change in investment in order to lift competitiveness, boost innovation and improve the sector’s agility to respond in the face of rising global uncertainty.”