Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 1)
The recent State of the Industry Report for the Australian Food & Grocery Council noted there has been a spectacular surge in processed food and beverage exports, up 28 per cent on last year and a near doubling of the trade surplus for food and beverages. Unfortunately, the increase is not bringing about a much needed increase in manufacturing.
‘The jump in food and beverage exports is the result of significant demand in Asia meeting the capacity in the Australian food and beverage manufacturing sector. But while exports have surged employment and investment have been falling. The surge in exports have largely utilised existing capacity in food and beverage manufacturing and a new phase of investment is required to avoid capacity constraints and position Australia for growth over the longer term.’
However, like the horticulture, mining & viticultural sectors are we going to witness a rapid increase in the production of raw materials compounded by minimal growth in secondary and tertiary value added processing?
What will happen with the next citrus fruit or wine grape glut?
Will we witness again the removal of valuable primary infrastructure such as fruit trees?
How much longer can we go on exporting the greater percentage of our fresh primary produce without adding value and working to halt the decline in manufacturing?
State of the Industry 2015 Report
Some content extracted from ‘Investment in Food Manufacturing Needed’
Food Australia Magazine (AIFST) December 2015 / January 2016
By John Hine