Trade and investment

The AFGC supports collaborative efforts to improve Australian food and beverage to access to international trade markets through trade agreements and economic partnerships. AFGC advocates for a reduction in tariffs and non-tariff measures in to help facilitate this access.

The AFGC continues to support an Investment Guarantee to address declining investment and international competitiveness in the $131 billion food and grocery sector.

Continuing to stimulate investment in site modernisation is critical particularly in light of mounting input cost pressures. We are now in danger of drifting into a low investment trap, where uncertainty about return on investment flowing from retail price deflation and rising costs are seeing investment decisions deferred or dumped.

In its 2017-18 Pre-Budget Submission the AFGC recommended that a targeted investment allowance is adopted to bring forward investments in Australia, to retain jobs and businesses here, particularly in regional areas where approximately 40 per cent of the sector’s jobs are located.

Recent growth in food imports have highlighted the declining global competitiveness in the Australian food and grocery sector due partly to industry placing increased reliance on dated machinery and equipment. This initiative will go a long way to encouraging investment in high tech and high skilled projects to enhance efficiency and increase scale.

Stimulating investment is critical at a time when a step change upwards in investment is required to fully capitalise on improved market access and growing demand from middle-class consumers in the emerging economies of Asia and the Middle East.