Food manufacturing managed to grow in 2020/2021, but that’s likely over: AFGC

Food and grocery manufacturing narrowly increased its revenues over 2020/2021, according to the annual State of the Industry report compiled by industry body the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

In a statement released on Monday, the AFGC said its report found revenues were up 0.9 per cent during the year considered by the report, which examined the performance of 16,347 businesses currently operating in the sector.

CEO Tanya Barden said that the sector remained strong over 2020/21, despite the difficulties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, growth had been hampered since, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting supply chain difficulties.

“These figures predate the unprecedented impacts of this year’s heavy flooding in eastern and central Australia, as well as the war in Ukraine,” said Barden on Monday. 

“The pressures manufacturers were facing a year ago have intensified to the point where the viability of some businesses could be at risk.”

Besides the small increase in total turnover during the period (reaching $133.6 billion), the report also found capital investment was up 3.1 per cent to $3.2 billion, and employment rose 0.8 per cent to 272,800 (with 40.3 per cent of these jobs regional.)

The report also tracked a significant fall in exports (down 17.1 per cent to $34.2 billion.) Imports were down by less (6.6 per cent to $37.2 billion) but overall it represents a slip into trade deficit for food and groceries over the year.

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