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Food in Brief #13 - Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 2)

Shelley Inkster - Friday, October 07, 2016
Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 2)

Seafood consumption is increasing world-wide. Almost all of the global growth in consumption is being met by aquaculture.

One of a number of large agribusiness projects planned to go ahead is the Sea Dragon Project, a $1.45-billion project proposed for Legune Station, on the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia and sitting on the northern coastline.

WA Company ‘Seafarms Group’ is looking to develop a land-based prawn aquaculture project on the property which the Government says could employ 1,600 full-time staff.

Although there may be an increase in local employment, this will make little contribution to the manufacturing sector as like other large agribusinesses the greater percentage of raw food products are sent overseas.

Sea Dragon Project

Let’s hope that as these & other organisations develop, evolve and mature, investment is made in establishing diverse & vertically integrated operations.

An example follows:-

Vertical integration

Some content extracted from ‘Investment in Food Manufacturing Needed’
Food Australia Magazine (AIFST) December 2015 / January 2016
By John Hine

Food in Brief #12 - Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 1)

Shelley Inkster - Monday, October 03, 2016
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

Food in Brief #5 - Smart Phone App

Kevin Stretton - Monday, July 27, 2015


In conjunction with a digital organisation Meat & Livestock Australia have recently developed & released a smartphone application allowing customers to obtain details on the purchase, preparation and cooking of red meats.

This includes:-

  1.            • Cuts of meat
  2.            • Preparation based on thickness and desired flavor or tenderness
  3.            • Cooking times




Recent research by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have demonstrated that the traditional use of grape wine marc as a feed stock for dairy cows has multiple benefits.


Cows fed with winery marc increased fatty acid content and milk production by 5% along with decreased methane output of 20%


The benefit to the wine industry is a relatively easy way of disposing of their waste.


Traditionally farmers in wine regions have fed cattle & dairy herds with grape wine marc, the waste seeds, skins & stalks, but there’s a limit to the use of such feed supplements.


Checks on the sources & integrity of grape marc are a necessity to ensure that residues are not being transferred to the meat or milk. 

Food in Brief #4 - Feast or Famine

Kevin Stretton - Saturday, July 25, 2015
2020: Industry at a Crossroads

In this ‘Food – In Brief’, we take a quick look at some of the unique challenges facing the Australian food sector, previously identified by the Australian Food & Grocery Council’s 2012 research.

Contribution to manufacturing -
• With turnover valued at $108 billion the sector represents 26% of all Australian manufacturing.
• Compare this value with:-
• Equipment / machinery manufacturing at $37.1 billion.
• Primary metal manufacturing at $69.8 billion.

Contribution to employment -
• There are currently 312,000 employees in the sector.
• Salaries paid are approximately $13 billion.
• Since 2005 employment in the sector has declined from 3.2% to 2.8%.
• By 2020 this may have dropped to 180,000.

Contribution to research & development -
• Current R&D expenditure is 0.5% of turnover, about $368 million.

Current versus potential growth -
• Current growth rate for the food & grocery sector is 2.1%.
• Demand for food & grocery is 3.8%.

Market competition -
• Coles & Woolworths share 78% of the supermarket sector.
• Imported foods attract a 25% cost advantage over local produce.
• Imported foods are valued at $25 billion.
• This equates to almost 23% of the sector’s turnover.
• Between 2003 & 2010 private labels increased from 15% to 25% of sales.
• Private label share of the European market averages 45%.

Opportunities –
There are considerable opportunities for Australian food processors to gain access to and flourish in an expanding Asian market.

However, there are challenges.
• As an industry are we investing enough in research & development?
• Have we targeted the right areas for that research & development?
• Is the industry innovative enough to be able to compete on the international stage?
• Are we attracting secondary school students who will choose food science at universities only to follow on with a career in the food sector? Book-Processed Food

Food in Brief #3 - 2014 Australian Organic Food Industry Status

Kevin Stretton - Thursday, June 11, 2015

For the last 3 years purchasing demand has driven growth in the certified organic sector creating challenges for some industry producers who are unable to meet the demand.


The 2014 report highlights that the certified organic retail market is expected to grow because of price reductions and an increase in the number of private label producers entering the market.


This has been the case for organic dairy and meat and is predicted to continue.


Several certified organic beef producers are reporting equal trading in natural and organic meat products and in other cases an inability to meet demand.


To view the full report  go to:-


Australian Organic Market Report

Australian Organic 2014 Report

Food in Brief #2 - 2013 - 2014 Food Industry Status

Kevin Stretton - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Australian Food and Grocery Council’s State of the Industry Report 2014 provides some useful insight into the potential of the agricultural, food and beverage sectors with a total value rising to approximately $114 billion.

And the sector continues to employ more people than the mining and transport sectors combined.

Total R&D investment was approximately $542 million spread across alcoholic beverages, bakery, cereals, grain milling and meat.

The full report can be viewed at:-
Australian Food & Grocery Council