This road map identifies 3 broad areas of opportunity for food and beverage manufacturing that have been developed around the application of critical enablers. By realising these opportunities and unlocking the enablers of growth, food and beverage manufacturers will be positioned to pursue further growth opportunities onshore specific to their subsectors. Given the number and diversity of subsectors that make up the food and beverage manufacturing sector, this road map does not attempt to identify those opportunities.
Collaboration is also seen as an important enabler in terms of positioning the broader food and beverage sector, and is discussed in further detail in Engagement and collaboration.
Other additional enablers, which will help support the growth of food and beverage manufacturing include:
- access to more diversified markets including export and online
- enhanced supply chain resilience.
These enablers are supported through CSIRO’s Food and Agribusiness Roadmap. CSIRO identifies 5 key growth enablers from industry consultation, each requiring a unique mix of science and technology investment, business action and ecosystem assistance:
- Traceability and provenance
- Food safety and biosecurity
- Market intelligence and access
- Collaboration and knowledge sharing
Access to more diversified markets including export and online
The global food and beverage market is highly competitive and not all Australian food and beverage manufacturers enjoy the same level of export success. Industry feedback is many businesses do not explore growth opportunities outside traditional markets because they lack the expertise and knowledge to do so. Enabling these food and beverage businesses to explore these opportunities and take advantage of Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) is a potential growth opportunity for the sector.
Digital commerce technology is widespread and consumers are increasingly willing to shop online. This means there is potential for manufacturers to increase their customer base by developing direct-to-consumer trading platforms including in export markets. In addition to maximising their profitability, this allows manufacturers to capitalise on increasing consumer interest in shopping locally and buying ‘from the source’. It also allows some producers to sell direct to consumers interested in foods that possess specific attributes. This could include particular processing methods and the presence or absence of certain ingredients, for example gluten free products.
Industry stakeholders have commented on the need to diversify Australia’s export footprint following recent challenges faced by wine and barley exporters. By spreading the risk and considering a broad range of markets, stakeholders note future export shocks could be better managed. For industries such as wine, this could mean selling in both traditional and non-traditional markets and adoption of a direct-to-consumer trading platform Through the Agri-Business Expansion Initiative, the Australian Government is investing $72.7 million to support Australian farmers, fishers, foresters, and other agri-food exporters to understand and mitigate risks in an increasingly uncertain trading environment.
Enhanced supply chain resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the Australian economy disrupting global supply chains, halting travel and migrations, and impacting the global and domestic workforce. A strong food and beverage supply chain will position Australia to respond to future supply chain disruptions. This will require Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing supply chains to be mapped and analysed for vulnerabilities and opportunities to enhance strategic resilience.
The Australian Government through the $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) will strengthen Australia’s ability to access critical necessities and build a practical and detailed understanding of vulnerabilities in Australia’s access to critical products. This work will complement the Productivity Commission’s review of supply chain vulnerabilities and their broader economic impacts.