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Australia’s food industry continues to grow

Hon Warren Truss MP
MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY
23 May 2002

The latest edition of Australian Food Statistics shows that the food industry continues to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, said today.

Mr Truss said Australian Food Statistics 2002 is produced by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and provides a detailed look at the industry’s supply chains, as well as its relationship with the global trading environment.

“The supply chain information covers the whole industry – from raw materials right though to highly processed products – as well as providing an overview of the industry’s production, retailing and exporting sectors,” Mr Truss said.

“The publication also helps quantify the food industry’s contribution to the Australian economy. In 2000-01, it estimates that the industry’s sales were worth nearly $29 billion at the farm level, $55 billion at the processing level and $71 billion at the retail level.

“Perhaps more significantly, it shows that food exports during the same period were worth $24 billion or 20 per cent of Australia’s total merchandise trade. Encouragingly, all these indicators showed strong increases over the previous year.”

Mr Truss said that the Federal Coalition Government was working closely with the food industry to further enhance its contribution to the national economy by implementing the National Food Industry Strategy, and also through the work of the National Food Industry Council.

“The Government announced in last week’s Federal Budget that $102.4 million would be allocated over five years to implement the strategy and ensure we continue to have a globally competitive and sustainable Australian food industry,” he said.

“One of the keys to achieving those goals is encouraging innovation at every point of the supply chain. Australian Food Statistics 2002 includes two articles that examine the importance of innovation in the Australian food industry.”

Mr Truss said Australian Food Statistics 2002 provides a timely report card on the performance of our food industry, and also helps identify its future opportunities and challenges. He urged everyone with an interest in the industry to obtain a copy.

Copies are available from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Australia (AFFA) web site — www.affa.gov.au/foodinfo


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