Minister says food and beverage industry pillar of strength in manufacturing

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has welcomed comments by the Federal Minister for Industry, Hon Karen Andrews at the National Press Club that again confirms the strengths of Australia’s food, beverage and grocery manufacturing sector.

The $122.1 billion Australian food, beverage and grocery manufacturing sector is the biggest manufacturing sector with 273,000 jobs and is a backbone to regional Australia.

During the speech, the Minister called out this sector as essential and noted that Australia is well regarded internationally for the food products that we make.

“While the supermarkets kept their doors open, it was the food and grocery manufacturers and suppliers working around the clock 24/7 that stepped up to keep their shelves stocked with the essential products needed by Australians week after week during the COVID-19 crisis” said AFGC acting CEO Dr Geoffrey Annison.

Annison said that while we make safe, nutritious food here and enough for 75 million people, we also value add to the raw commodities from our farms and sell that to the world. Our exports are worth nearly $35 billion with a strong import trade as well bringing in ingredients to add to the products we make here.

“Manufacturing is alive and well in Australia and with the support from the Federal Government through either reducing red tape, short term incentives and allowances and helping business to navigate new markets, we have had the confidence and ability to remain strong during the COVID-19 crisis,” Annison said.

“While this sector is vital and strong, the AFGC will work with Government to shape the future landscape for manufacturing in Australia as laid out by Minister Andrews. Building competitiveness is a priority especially as global competition is likely to be fierce as other countries look to Australia as a potential market for their industries, and will not hesitate to take share from Australia in export markets.”