Northern Victoria drives the nation’s food supply

Australian manufacturing isn’t struggling, according to new research from the Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC). In fact, the economic snapshot report states that food and grocery manufacturing is growing in Northern Victoria, contributing $12 billion in annual output and $2.1 billion in exports.

Food and grocery manufacturing businesses employ 21,500 workers, and this sector is responsible for 70.8% of jobs in the Northern Victoria’s broader manufacturing sector. It is the fourth largest jobs provider — after health care and social assistance, retail trade, and education and training — and the largest industry in the region.
With low unemployment rates of only 5.1% — compared to 6% for the rest of the state — and an expected 11% increase in Northern Victoria’s current population of 586,000 over the next 15 years, AFGC CEO Tanya Barden said it has strong future economic prospects.
“We are constantly being told that manufacturing in Australia is on its knees, but food and grocery manufacturing in Northern Victoria continues to invest, innovate and grow strongly,” she said.
The report also stated that the food and grocery manufacturing sector in Northern Victoria created approximately $3.054 billion in value added in 2017, and it supports 9.3% of total value added created in the region.
Despite the fact that parts of the state have been battling drought conditions, the food manufacturing sector continues to drive job growth and contribute to the regional economy.
“Food and grocery manufacturing employers in Northern Victoria range from major global companies like Fonterra in Stanhope through to strong Australian brands like Beechworth Honey in Beechworth and smaller mum and dad operations,” Barden said. “All these operations are dedicated to ensuring the safety and highest quality of their products.”
Other key manufacturers in the area include Nestlé, Unilever, Simplot, Mars, Campbell’s and Saputo.

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