New funding highlights food and beverage manufacturing’s vital role in Australia’s economic future

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement today of $33 million in grants to the food and beverage manufacturing sector as part of the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). These grants will help bring innovation, export opportunities and jobs for this critical industry.

Food, beverage and grocery manufacturing is Australia’s biggest manufacturing sector with an annual turnover of $132 billion of which food and beverage alone is valued at $115.5 billion. The industry provides direct employment for 270,000 Australians, with many more employed across an expansive supply chain. Food and beverage manufacturing alone provides jobs for 242,000 people across metropolitan and regional areas.

AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said that the grants announced today provide a boost for the capacity of the successful businesses to contribute to advancing this critical industry.

“We have a clear vision for the future of food and grocery manufacturing in Australia, as outlined in our recent landmark report Sustaining Australia: Food and Grocery Manufacturing 2030, that the value of the sector can double to $250 billion by 2030. The right policy settings are vital to the realisation of this vision and we support the important measures the government has taken with the MMI,” Ms Barden said.

“We congratulate the Government on identifying food and beverage manufacturing as a priority industry, one of six in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. It is also important to realise the critical role of grocery manufacturing – currently not covered by the MMI as an indispensable capability for a safe, secure and sovereign food, beverage and grocery manufacturing sector into the future and we would welcome the opportunity to work with governments into the future to ensure the growth of this sector,” Ms Barden said.

Food, grocery and beverage manufacturing are the businesses that supply retail and does not include retailers.  The industry annual turnover is $132 billion, employing 270, 800 and represents 16,000 businesses with nearly 40 per cent of the 270,000 jobs in regional Australia and represents 32 per cent of all manufacturing jobs. Trade is valued at $81 billion.