Carbon reduction scheme amendments ok by AFGC

Food industry welcomes Government’s CPRS support

The recognition and support for food processing in the Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) amendments has been welcomed by Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said today.

The Government’s proposed $150 million allocation under the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF) would provide much-needed support for Australia’s $100 billion food and grocery manufacturing sector. AFGC Deputy Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison said the proposed funding would help industry to reduce emissions, explore energy efficiencies and become more sustainable.

“We welcome this funding commitment from the Government but the proposed measures don’t go far enough to safeguard the global competitiveness of Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing sector, which is a major exporter and employs 315,000 Australians,” Dr Annison said.

While Australia’s food processing industry is expected to benefit from the Government’s proposed Transitional Electricity Cost Assistance Program, the major concern with the CPRS legislation, in its present form, is it will mean costs will increase across the supply chain.

“Industry is doing its best to become more energy efficient. However the CPRS does not remove the global competitiveness issue for trade-exposed Australian-made goods which would still be more expensive on supermarket shelves compared with imported goods that don’t have a carbon charge,” Dr Annison said. A landmark AFGC report* recently found that the value of food, beverage and grocery imports in Australia has grown by 40 per cent in the past five years.

“The industry looks forward to an agreement on climate change that ensures the long-term future and sustainability of Australia’s food and grocery industry that doesn’t sacrifice jobs and jeopardise the nation’s economic growth,” Dr Annison said.

*AFGC State of the Industry 2009 report released October 28, 2009.

Source: AFGC

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