Government’s $1.3bn food and beverage manufacturing initiative welcomed

31 March, 2021 by Andy Young

The Federal Government has laid out its plans to help local food and beverage manufacturers capitalise on the growing popularity of Australian produce, with funding now available for projects in the sector under the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI).

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this funding would unlock investment to further grow what is the biggest manufacturing sector in Australia.

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“The world already can’t get enough of Aussie made food and beverages but there are opportunities to further build on our international reputation for producing premium, safe and high-quality products,” Minister Andrews said.

“Investing in our food and beverage manufacturers will ensure they remain on the front foot and maximise every opportunity to tap into global markets and create jobs here at home.

“To strengthen our economy we need to make the most of our natural advantages in agriculture, and that means adding as much value as we can to raw materials through manufacturing.

“The other great thing about food and beverage manufacturing is its imprint on regional Australia – both in where many of the factories are located and the support for businesses right along the supply chain.”

To guide Government investment, an industry-led road map has been released, which sets out a 10-year vision for the food and beverage manufacturing sector.

Opportunities identified include smart processing and packaging methods, products for health and wellbeing and enhanced nutritional value, high value-add products such as those containing new and enhanced proteins, products with strong food safety, origin and traceability systems and the adoption of solutions to increase differentiation of food and beverage products in domestic and overseas markets.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said this support for food and beverage manufacturers will have significant flow-on effects for Australian farmers and agriculture producers.

“Australia already makes world class value-added products from fruit and vegetables, grain mill and cereals, dairy products and meat,” he said.

“This funding will open up further opportunities for the development of new products and the expansion of existing product lines beyond the farm gate.

“That’s good for our farmers, our transport industry and the regional communities they all support.”

Alcohol Beverages Australia welcomed the release of the roadmap, with CEO Andrew Wilsmore saying the proposed funding and strategies will serve as a much-needed relief to our brewers, distillers, and winemakers, especially those in regional Australia.

“This roadmap complements a number of industry goals and policy partnerships outlined in the Alcohol Beverage Industry’s 10-year growth plan, Vision 2030, which launched earlier this month,” Wilsmore said.

“In 2019-20 the alcohol manufacturing sector invested $465 million in capital expenditure with investment in the sector growing by an average of 6.7 per cent per year over the last five years compared to Australia’s total non-mining capital expenditure (growing at 2.5 per cent per year over the same period).

“We are clearly a powerhouse leader within wider manufacturing and are remarkable for providing value-add through every stage of the supply chain from paddock to palate.

“Our heart is in the country with many of our breweries, distilleries and wineries obtaining icon status in their region and recognised around the world. Being largely regionally based, a plan to grow beverage manufacturing is a plan to grow regional jobs and create value-added careers making a critical and meaningful impact in regional communities across Australia.”

Wilsmore added: “With the right policy settings by Government and the cooperation of everyone across the value chain we can supercharge the future for this industry from where it starts in the paddock to where it ends in the hands of a consumer.”

For more information on the road maps and available grant funding visit industry.gov.au/manufacturing.