NORTHERN Victoria has emerged as a food and grocery manufacturing powerhouse, generating $12 billion in output per year and employing 21,500 Victorians, according to new research released today by the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Almost one in every 10 workers in northern Victoria is now employed in food and grocery manufacturing, making it the largest industry across the four Federal Victorian electorates of Mallee, Bendigo, Indi and Murray

This helps explain why Northern Victoria has an unemployment rate of only 5.1%, compared to 6% for the rest of the state.

Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO, Tanya Barden, said Northern Victoria’s current population of 586,000 was expected to grow by 11 per cent over the next 15 years, with the influx of a further 64,000 residents, indicating its future economic prospects were strong.

“We are constantly being told that manufacturing in Australia is on its knees, but food and grocery manufacturing in northern Victoria continues to invest, innovate and grow strongly,” Ms Barden said.

“Food and grocery manufacturing is the largest industry in Northern Victoria, and pays more tax than any other sector at $119 million per annum.”

Key points in the report:

  • Wages – Wages and salaries pump $1.4 billion into the Northern Victorian economy annually, worth an average $63,200 for every full-time and part-time worker.
  • Jobs – Northern Victorian food & grocery manufacturing businesses employ 21,500 workers. It is the fourth largest jobs provider in northern Victoria, after Health Care & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Education & Training.
  • Exports – Food & grocery manufacturing is the number one export industry in Bendigo, Indi, Mallee and Murray, outpacing other sectors such as Mining, Forestry, Financial Services, Construction and the Public Service.
  • Economics – The sector contributes $12 billion in annual output and $2.1 billion in exports.

Ms Barden said Australians needed to be proud of their food manufacturing sector as a driver of jobs growth and a major contributor to the regional economy, particularly with parts of the state battling drought conditions.

“Food and grocery manufacturing employers in Northern Victoria range from major global companies like Fonterra in Stanhope, through to strong Australian brands like Beechworth Honey in Beechworth and smaller mum and dad operations,” she said.

“All these operations are dedicated to ensuring the safety and highest quality of their products.”



















About the four northern Victorian electorates:

  • Bendigo is located in central Victoria and includes Victoria’s fourth largest city
  • Indi is located in north-eastern Victoria and includes the towns of Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla.
  • Mallee is the north-western most electorate in Victoria, bordering South Australia and NSW.
  • Murray is the northern most electorate in Victoria, and borders NSW.

Key Northern Victorian Food and Grocery Manufacturers


AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002