Investing in skills and building self-reliance the right focus for Australia
The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomes the Albanese government’s commitment to building the resilience of Australian manufacturing and the broader economy in response to the unprecedented challenges now facing essential industries.
AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ focus on supply chains, skills and labour, and cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy as part of the government’s economic plan addresses current challenges and will position Australian manufacturing for future growth.
“The Treasurer’s warning that inflation is yet to peak is confirmation of what Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing industry has been seeing for some time: that we are in an unprecedented period of disruption and uncertainty,” Ms Barden said.
“Factors including the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 have hit supply chains worldwide and driven up commodity, energy and freight prices.
“Around Australia the impacts of weather disasters are still flowing through the sector and businesses that make our everyday essential items are dealing with workforces reduced by COVID or simply can’t find the staff they need.”
Ms Barden said the thousands of businesses that make up Australia’s $133 billion food and grocery manufacturing industry welcomed the government’s focus on investing for the future and making the nation more self-reliant through the National Reconstruction Fund.
“The Treasurer said this is a time of great challenge but also a time of great opportunity for Australia,” Ms Barden said.
“Recent years have shown that our industry can withstand enormous stress but that it is fragile and so now is the time to invest in new skills, new technologies and new infrastructure to increase the industry’s resilience. This will be an investment in the future and our sovereign manufacturing capacity.”