Food industry supports Plan for sustainable supply chain

The Australian Good and Grocery Council (AFGC) is supporting the government’s National Food Plan, claiming it’s “an important first step towards safeguarding the food and grocery manufacturing industry’s long-term sustainability and robust future.”

The issues paper – released for public consultation and industry feedback – covers food security, food affordability and the sustainability of Australia’s food and grocery sector.

AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell welcomed the paper, saying it was important to secure Australia’s $102 billion food and grocery manufacturing sector.

“Industry consultation is vital in highlighting the significant pressures and major challenges currently facing food and grocery manufacturers, who employ 288,000 Australians including half in rural and region areas,” Carnell said.

“Industry is currently weathering a “perfect storm” from a growing list of pressures across Australia’s long supply chain, such as rising input costs from wages, water and energy power prices, a sky-high Australian dollar making imports significantly cheaper, higher transport costs, including fuel and near record high global commodity prices – sugar, diary, cocoa, coffee, wheat – the proposed carbon tax will also impact industry’s competitiveness.”

According to Carnell, the National Food and Grocery Plan must deliver:

A whole-of-government policy setting to deliver an environment where Australian products and manufacturers can be competitive with imports in the export market

A fair trading environment – and an available, skilled workforce

A consistent, national and transparent regulatory system

An efficient and cost-effective national transport system

An environmentally sustainable food chain – with a focus on better packaging, efficient use of water, minimising food waste and energy use.

“In the challenging new world of manufacturing, Australia needs thriving and profitable food and grocery industries to provide a wide range of safe, nutritious, sustainable, clean and affordable products for Australia and the world,” she said. 

Read industry’s Case for a National Food and Grocery Agenda here.


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