Food and Grocery Manufacturing Northern Victorian Economic Powerhouse

NORTHERN Victoria has emerged as a food and grocery manufacturing powerhouse, generating $9.23 billion in output per year and employing 14,221 Victorians, according to new research released today by the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Northern Victorian food and grocery processing is now the second largest contributor in terms of output and the eighth largest employer across the four Federal Victorian electorates of Mallee, Bendigo, Indi and Nicholls.

This has helped underpin the economy of Northern Victoria and delivered thousands of jobs contributing to an unemployment rate of only 5.1%, compared to 6% for the rest of the state.

Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO, Tanya Barden, said that as the population continues to increase in Northern Victoria, food and grocery processing will continue to provide important jobs growth and investment in the region.

“Food and grocery manufacturing in northern Victoria continues to invest, innovate and employ locals,” Ms Barden said.

“The sector relies heavily on local supply chains, purchasing $3.36 billion in goods and services from within the region.”

Key points in the report:

  • Wages – Wages and salaries pump $1.13 billion into the Northern Victorian economy annually, worth an average $79,000 for every full-time and part-time worker.
  • Jobs – Northern Victorian food & grocery manufacturing businesses employ 14,221 workers. It is the eight largest jobs provider in northern Victoria, after Health Care & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Education & Training and second largest in terms of outputs behind Construction.
  • Economics – The sector contributes $9.23 billion in annual output and
    $1.76 billion in international exports.

Ms Barden said Australians should be proud of their food manufacturing sector as a driver of jobs growth and a major contributor to the regional economy.

“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.”

Table 1-1 Summary – Northern Victoria’s Food, Beverage and Grocery Manufacturing, 2018


Table 1-2 Summary – Northern Victoria’s Food, Beverage and Grocery Manufacturing, 2018







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.
  • Nicholls is the northern most electorate in Victoria, and borders NSW.

Key Northern Victorian Food and Grocery Manufacturers