Western Sydney is a food and grocery powerhouse

Wednesday, 31 October, 2018

Western Sydney is a food and grocery powerhouse

Food and grocery manufacturing is growing rapidly in Western Sydney, with the area generating $17 billion in output annually, according to a report by the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The report found the sector represents 7.1% of total output and 29.3% of total manufacturing in Western Sydney. Parramatta City is the largest contributor in terms of overall food and grocery manufacturing in the region, representing 26.1% of output, followed by Blacktown City at 16.2% and Cumberland Shire at 13.9%.

“Food and grocery manufacturing has the fifth-largest output of all industries in Western Sydney, paying $138 million per annum in tax,” said AFGC CEO Tanya Barden.

Western Sydney exports $2.5 billion of food and grocery manufacturing products every year and sells a further $5.7 billion to interstate and domestic regional markets, according to the report. Between 2016 and 2017, overseas exports grew by 10.1%, and meat and meat product manufacturing were found to contribute over a third of overseas exports.

About 24,400 workers are employed in the food and grocery manufacturing sector, making it the 11th-largest jobs provider in Western Sydney. Parramatta has the highest employment rates with 4980 workers, followed by Blacktown (4176), Canterbury Bankstown (3914), Cumberland (2984), Liverpool (2154), Campbelltown (2113), Fairfield (2081), Penrith (1428) and Camden (562).

Western Sydney’s population of 2.1 million is expected to grow by a further 1 million people over the next 18 years, and Barden emphasised the importance of ensuring jobs and houses are in the same areas.

“Since 2011, a total of 1200 new jobs have been created across Blacktown, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield and Penrith.

“Importantly, these jobs allow residents to live and work in their own neighbourhoods, rather than facing a long-haul commute into the city, which takes pressure off our public transport and road networks.

“Food and grocery manufacturing employers in Western Sydney range from major global companies like Campbell Arnott’s in Huntingwood and Kimberly-Clark in Ingleburn, through to strong Australian brands like Coca-Cola Amatil in Northmead and smaller mum and dad operations,” she said.

Workers are paid approximately $1.9 billion in wages and salaries, and the sector supports 28.4% of total manufacturing wages and salaries in the region.

Barden said Australians should be proud of their food manufacturing sector as a driver of jobs growth and a major contributor to the national economy.

Image credit: ©Ivonne Wierink/Dollar Photo Club

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