Revitalising Australia’s onshore food manufacturing

Writing in NSW Farmers’ The Farmer magazine, Ian Neubauer explores the case for bringing food manufacturing back to base and finds some pluses, but also challenges to doing so.

Obstacles range from lack of government support for SMEs in the food manufacturing space to a supermarket duopoly that makes profit-making unlikely, to our comparatively high costs for labour and energy.

While retail mark-ups locally make it difficult to sustain agrifood businesses on domestic sales alone – unless, as many farm businesses have done during the COVID-19 disruption, you pivot to direct farmgate and/or online sales – there’s a definite upside, too.

COVID-19-related disruptions to supply chains globally have increased demand for locally produced food, due to heightened food safety and food security fears – fears that will likely remain, post-pandemic.

Moreover, those processing our fine primary produce onshore can often sell at a premium in overseas markets where quality and provenance are key.

Read the full story and case studies here.

Source: Could we (and should we) make more stuff here? I The Farmer