Australian Food & Grocery Council

Manufacturing Investment Incentives Welcome

The Australian Food and Grocery and Council (AFGC) today welcomed the release of the Australian Labor Party’s Australian Manufacturing Future Fund Program. This Program will provide manufacturing firms concessional loans where barriers to finance from the banking sector are impeding innovation and capital investment.

Tanya Barden, Chief Executive Officer of AFGC said, “as Australia transitions from the mining boom to more broad based growth throughout the economy, it is essential to stimulate business investment in growing sectors of the economy. While the fundamentals of food and grocery manufacturing are strong, with growing employment and export growth to markets in Asia, capital investment has only rebounded slightly in 2015-16 reversing the last three years of decline.”

“The ALP’s policy to support manufacturing through concessional loans that improve productivity, efficiency and innovation is a welcome measure that will assist companies to generate long-term sustainable growth by boosting the productive capacity of the food and grocery sector. The food and grocery industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the country, with over 40% of the sector based in rural and regional Australia.”

“It is essential that all parties are focused on the fundamentals for continued growth, including creating an environment conducive to higher business investment, with reduced red tape and welcoming of international investment.”

“The AFGC welcomes the Australian Manufacturing Future Fund as a positive initiative that will assist small to medium sized business. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that medium and large food and grocery companies are facing the same environment where input costs are rising on everything from commodities to labour to energy, and six years of retail price deflation continues to cut margins, placing the sector under increasing pressure.”

“In order to drive scale and enhance significant employment, the AFGC recommends that targeted investment allowances be adopted to bring forward investments in Australia. The continued success of food and beverage manufacturing underpins growth throughout the food supply chain including demand for Australia’s premium agricultural produce.” Ms Barden said.
 
 

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AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002