Page 25 - Food&Drink magazine November-December 2022
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                and sustainability credentials, and captialising on the increasing demand for alternative and natural foods.
To achieve these ambitions, the sector needs highly skilled workers for existing requirements, and to take advantage of emerging technologies such
as robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.
Rising energy costs are also impacting processing costs. Natural disasters and global conflicts have disrupted supply chains. Pallet shortages continue to affect output.
The Albanese Government fully understands the value of the food and beverage sector, its importance to regional communities and the challenges it is facing.
We want to work closely with the sector to ensure it meets its challenges, remains healthy and continues to grow.
To achieve this we are delivering on our election commitments.
“ In 2021, Australia exported $30.6 billion in manufactured food and beverage products, and the sector contributed $27.4 billion to the Australian economy, with $6.3 billion coming from red meat processing.”
  As part of our Future Made in Australia plan we are providing $30 million over four years to help stimulate food and beverage processing and regional economic growth.
This includes in last month’s Budget:
• $17.2 million to establish a
pilot Food Manufacturing Innovation Hub on the New South Wales Central Coast;
• $11.1 million to support upgrades to Ingham’s Sorell poultry facility in Tasmania; and
• $2.1 million to support an expansion of the Costa Group berry distribution centre in EastDevonport,Tasmania.
Our Buy Australia Plan and Powering Australia are initiatives that indirectly support the food and beverage processing sector.
Buy Australia aims to increase supply chain resilience, encourage innovation and better ensure sovereign capability.
Powering Australia is a suite of policies to bring renewable energy and lower bills to Australian businesses.
I know industry has been hit by rising energy prices.
Our investment in the transition to renewables will bring downward pressure on thosecostsovertime.Weare
investing $20 billion in transmission and aim to get
82 per cent renewables into the grid by 2030.
That’s for the medium term. As those measures are being rolled out, I am working with my Cabinet colleagues in the nearer term to deliver affordable, reliable and secure energy for Australian businesses.
Working together I am confident that the food and beverage sector will manage the challenges facing us and surge ahead in the future. As Industry and Science Minister I am focused on doing what I can to helpmakethathappen. ✷
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Puts you in control of your sanitising and cleaning chemicals | November-December 2022 | Food&Drink business | 25

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