Wiley welcomes the incoming Abbott Ministry’s focus on initiatives to support agriculture and food manufacturing

Wiley Managing Director, Tom Wiley congratulates all the new Ministers on their appointment, in particular those relevant to the food manufacturing sector – Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, Industry Minister Ian McFarlane and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

Wiley Managing Director, Tom Wiley

Mr Wiley said he found his own thoughts on these issues echoed in AFGC CEO, Gary Dawson’s welcome statement to the new ministry.

In the AFGC’s statement released earlier today, Mr Dawson said Food and grocery manufacturing is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, directly employing around 300,000 people and with annual turnover of $110 billion.  It is the lifeblood of many regional economies, with numerous major food processing plants located outside the metropolitan areas, and makes up half the total industry employment in regional Australia.

“Right now the industry is facing massive challenges from high costs, the high Australian dollar and retail price deflation squeezing profitability. Key food processing capabilities are at risk of being lost altogether, with the flow on loss of jobs and opportunities extending into the farm supply base.

AFGC CEO, Gary Dawson

“To that end we strongly support priorities including the finalisation of stalled Free Trade Agreement talks, a rollback of costly unnecessary regulation, action to reduce energy costs, a tax reform white paper and a review of competition laws to help level the playing field where there is an imbalance in market power.

“It is also an industry with massive growth potential for the future provided we can boost competitiveness and productivity, and open up market access in the growing economies of Asia.” Mr Dawson said.

Mr Wiley concluded by saying “We are keen to work with the new Ministry, the AFGC, and regional industry groups such as the Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise group (TSBE) to empower the food manufacturing sector to drive economic reform and growth.”

Read the AFGC’s full Media Release here