Securing the future of Australian food with agri-research
Cheese is a staple of many Australian households, with a Nielsen survey estimating it is consumed in 98 per cent of households nationwide. The largest consumer group are young, single and high-earning professionals – who have a focus at point of purchase on brands that blend internationally-inspired flavours or packaging with locally-sourced ingredients.
Research into producing the high-quality food that Australians most want will soon be hugely valuable. This will not only ensure the population is adequately fed in future decades, but will also secure continued investment in Australia's invaluable primary export sector. Agri-research is the future of Australian food production.
Agribusiness expenditure on development and research has risen substantially since 2008.
Australian food production, local and overseas
The food production and agribusiness industry is worth nearly $54 billion in gross value added and employs over half a million people according to a Department of Industry, Innovation and Science sector profile. To say making and processing food is big business in Australia is an understatement – not only is maintaining the quality and innovation in this sector vital for the national economy, it is also important to protecting Australia's valuable overseas reputation.
Values of Australian exports have risen steadily since the late 1980s according to the Department profile, regardless of the rising costs of food. These feed into the now $5 trillion global agribusiness industry (McKinsey & Co. Global Consulting). This effectively means that as food prices continue to rise and the world population grows supporting agri-research and innovations in the food production sector will be priceless. Finding ways to blend local and international foods for new, sought-after flavours will also be valuable, with the Nielsen survey saying consumers are willing to pay more for products they really want, rather than settling for at-hand alternatives.
Investing in Australian agribusiness and research
Investing in the agribusiness and food production sector is effectively investing in Australia's future. The challenges facing our national food production including the valuable export market and tackling issues like water scarcity and increasing soil degradation, are immense. However, investing in thorough scientific research is slowly making a difference.
The Department profile indicates that agribusiness expenditure on development and research has risen substantially since 2008 and now exceeds spending in other industries. KPMG identifies this research as including:
- Investigating the potential consequences of consuming genetically-modified food;
- Analysing the feasibility of standardised remote water sensors to better manage individual water use in farming;
- Transitioning to greener fuel sources in food production processes.
Finding the most innovative scientific minds and backing their agri-research is key to securing Australia's food future, blending local quality ingredients with international development.
Agribusiness and food production are complex areas of the Australian economy that requires a high level of professional investment in research and employment in order for it to flourish. To learn more about our science and technical recruitment services for both companies and jobseekers, check out the Techstaff website here.