AFGC WELCOMES ALP SUPPORT FOR FOOD MANUFACTURING
The Australian Food and Grocery and Council (AFGC) today welcomed the release of the Australian Labor Party’s Food, Fibre and Advanced Materials Modernisation Grants Program. This Program will provide grants of up to $5 million on a matched funding basis for projects designed to improve the efficiency of operations in food, beverage and fibre manufacturing, and for innovation and new technologies including energy efficient capital equipment.
Gary Dawson, 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 stable employment and strong export growth to markets in Asia, it is of concern that capital investment in the sector has fallen in recent years.”
“The ALP’s policy to support manufacturing through grants 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, and the broader economy. 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” Mr Dawson said.
“The policy announced today by the Shadow Minister for Industry, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, will support the food and grocery manufacturing as it responds to a challenging domestic retail environment. AFGC and UBS recently released a survey which showed that in the face of continued pressure from domestic retailers on profit margins, manufacturers were focusing their investments on new product development and access to new consumer market channels, particularly in export markets.”
“Today’s announcement and the ALP’s commitment to lift FIRB thresholds on investment in food processing recognises the value of the food and grocery sector as one of the key growth sectors for the future. Value-adding to Australia’s high quality farm produce generates jobs and growth 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.” Mr Dawson said.
AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002