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Fresh fields: The plan to turbo-charge Queensland's $43b food bowl by 2030

Statewide

Queensland’s agriculture sector has the potential to quadruple in size by 2030, where some of the biggest gains will be made off the farm, a new report has found.

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The blueprint offers Queensland a new future as a smart agricultural innovator, where food produced for the affluent, health conscious, environmentally-aware overseas consumer attracts a premium price.

The extra value is unlocked via marketing-led manufacturing and smart packaging, underpinned by leading-edge technology to protect product integrity and build resilient, super-efficient supply chains.

According to the organisation behind the study, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (trading as FIAL), Queensland is in the box seat to transform its agricultural economy.

“It’s about making sure we seize our addressable opportunities,” FIAL managing director Mirjana Prica told InQueensland.

“Most of what we grow and produce is exported, so the focus should be there, to challenge ourselves to think differently and to capture value through product differentiation.”

As the industry nationwide targets a potential $200 billion value by the end of the decade, the Queensland snapshot released last week is the first state-based assessment that FIAL will release, the culmination of local and international research, analysis of emerging trends, and interviews with industry experts.

Considering Queensland’s value-added agriculture sector was estimated at $11.8 billion in 2018-19, the scale of projected growth is staggering.

If the vision becomes reality the industry will create 42,800 new jobs, part of a workforce of 176,000 that would be 30 per cent higher than today’s employment numbers.

The report’s authors say the industry should be targeting three priority areas: reaching consumers who place a premium on nutritious food and healthy production, expanding the scope of traditional proteins and transforming supply chains.

“Taken together, these three opportunities account for 62 percent of the total opportunity for the state,” the report says.

“However, it must be noted that there are a number of disruptive agribusiness opportunities beyond these three that could also be extremely valuable by 2030, including in energy smart food and plant-based and alternative proteins.”

Prica believes Queensland only has to work towards its natural advantage to capitalise on the opportunities to come.

Queensland is Australia’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables in terms of product value with 29 percent of the country’s total production in 2018-19 and home to an estimated 30 percent of the country’s organic production area, Prica said.

As Australia’s largest producer of meat products, particularly beef, pork, and poultry, comprising 32 percent of the country’s output, she is also adamant that Queensland remains ideally placed to meet growing consumer demand.

Despite current disruptions to global freight schedules after two years of pandemic-induced strain, Prica said the channel to customers abroad was well serviced by supply chains that extend deep into key overseas markets, including Japan, South Korea, the US, and China.

She said the state manages the fourth highest trade volume in the country at 17 percent of Australia’s total imports and exports, largely facilitated by 12 sea trading ports along the Great Barrier Reef Coast, considered the “gateway” of the state to both domestic and international markets.

It’s why the report highlights interest and investment that is growing in technology underpinned by Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, which is improving how food can be moved and tracked across global supply chains.

“Agribusinesses and supply chain companies in Queensland that embrace these new technologies are expected to benefit from significantly higher productivity and lower costs,” Prica said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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