• The Modern Manufacturing Initiative's Food & Beverage Roadmap is about investing in the sector and maximising “every opportunity” to tap into global markets and create jobs on the domestic front.
    The Modern Manufacturing Initiative's Food & Beverage Roadmap is about investing in the sector and maximising “every opportunity” to tap into global markets and create jobs on the domestic front.

The Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, trading as Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), and employers' industry body Ai Group welcomed the federal government’s Food and Beverage Roadmap release.

The roadmap will guide investment, helping Australian manufacturers to scale up production, commercialise their products and operations, and integrate into domestic and global supply chains, FIAL said.

There is $140 million of co-funding available for the first rounds under the Translation and Integration streams of the MMI, with applications closing on 27 April. More here.

FIAL is industry-led and funded by the federal government. It is the relevant Industry Growth Centre for the roadmap and says the MMI is a “game changer” for the sector.

FIAL managing director Dr Mirjana Prica commended the government for the roadmap.

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.

“It is extremely rewarding to see FIAL’s 2020 Sector Competitiveness Plan, Capturing the Prize and its extensive work delivering on the National Food Waste Strategy referenced throughout the roadmap,” Prica said.

FIAL chair Dr Michele Allan said the plan will have significant flow-on effects across the value chain. “We know from FIAL’s Capturing the Prize report that working as a whole-of-value chain is critical to growing the value of the sector to $200 billion and creating 300,000 additional jobs for Australians by 2030. This is a tremendous opportunity for the agri-food sector,” Allan said.

“Secures Australia’s food security”: Ai Group

Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said the strategies and direction outlined in the roadmap will help secure the country’s food security from “farm to factory to table”.

"Food and beverage manufacturing is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector. The sector has grown significantly over the past decade, contributing $27.2 billion to the economy and employing 229,000 people in 2020.

“Ai Group’s Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index has recorded expansion of the industry every month since 2012 (trend data). Exports of Australian made food and beverage manufacturing products were worth $30.6 billion in 2020,” Willox said.

Any regulatory intervention in the strategy had to be designed to underpin growth and support Australian-based business, he added.

Willox said the strategy would ensure companies could position themselves more effectively for the next decade, drawing upon its significant advantages in manufacturing and supply chains.

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