Economists in CSIRO’s strategic advisory arm, CSIRO Futures, have released an economic valuation of the full range of opportunities identified in the 2017 CSIRO Food and Agribusiness Roadmap.
Their report is being launched today at the ‘Global Table’ event in Melbourne.
Senior Economic Advisor at CSIRO Futures, Dr Katherine Wynn, said that if Australia harnessed these opportunities, the food and agribusiness sector could successfully become a growth orientated, de-commoditised, value-adding and differentiated sector.
“Achieving this growth will depend on continued innovation and investment by all players in the food industry,” Dr Wynn said.
“As consumer demand for healthy foods and foods with added health benefits increases, foods such as enriched yoghurt and fortified breakfast cereals are likely to claim a larger chunk of the $25 billion pie.”
Global consumer trends for sustainable, ethical and healthy food products combined with growing demand from export markets buying into Australia’s reputation for clean and green products are driving this growth.
Dr Wynn, whose team drew on extensive research, consultations and economic analysis, said the health and wellness, sustainable solutions, and premium segments will see higher growth (3.6 per cent per annum, in real terms) compared to the food and agribusiness industry as a whole (2.4 per cent per annum).
The goal to grow our share of emerging food markets complements the National Farmers’ Federation strategic target to reach $100 billion by 2030, with a growth rate of approximately 4 per cent per annum expected in farm gate output.
Key opportunities fuelling this growth include the meat alternatives market – such as plant proteins and insect-based ingredients – as well as demand from export markets with large vegetarian populations such as India. The meat alternatives market also has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use.
The research also shows that consumers are more willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands which could see greater economic as well as environmental benefits.