Australia’s food and fibre is in demand worldwide. Our reputation for clean, green and safe produce makes Australia a compelling destination to develop, commercialise, scale and source the next generation of agriculture and food technologies.
We produce more than we need and export around 72% overseas. The value of Australian agrifood exports rose to more than A$64 billion in 2021–22.
Since 2019 Australia has committed over A$6 billion to help farmers build resilience and access new markets across the world. And we’re backing our farmers, fishers and foresters through our Ag2030 plan to generate A$100 billion in production by 2030.
There’s funding to support new projects that will:
- expand trade opportunities
- strengthen our biosecurity systems
- reward farmers for the stewardship of their land
- ensure that we have fair, strong and resilient supply chains
- improve the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the industry
- deliver the infrastructure our farmers and rural businesses need
- invest in our people.
Agrifood technology in Australia
Opportunities abound in Australia’s agrifood technology sector. This video highlights how our reputation for quality, strong R&D ecosystem and supportive government make Australia so attractive to investors and innovators.
By the end of 2022, Australia’s agriculture industry is expected to be worth almost A$87 billion (A$81.0 billion in farm gate value and A$5.8 billion from the fishery and forestry sectors). For the industry to achieve its 2030 goal and maintain a reputation for high-quality and sustainable produce, there will need to be a significant increase in productivity, increased market access and diversification.
‘Australia is a compelling destination to develop and commercialise the next generation of agriculture and food technologies’
– Sakka Mohamed, from Tunisia, now based in Australia
Our innovative farmers, scientists and researchers are driving advances in bioscience, novel farming techniques, food innovation and processing. Australia is a pioneer in the development of drought-resistant crops, robust irrigation systems and technology that can predict yields and recommend optimal pastures and stocking density.
- Our agricultural products made up 1.5% of the world’s total in 2019
- 14th in the world for food patenting
- 5th in the world for filing alternative protein patents
- the greatest proportion of the world’s organic agricultural area
- 23rd in the world for agricultural exports
- 2500+ companies in the agrifood sector
- 488+ agritech startups in 2022
- 15 agritech incubators/accelerators
Our clean, green produce earns exporters premium prices.
And our diverse agricultural production environments and climatic zones mean companies can trial solutions all year round.
Australia offers great opportunities for global companies including:
- food manufacturers looking to source novel ingredients or processing innovation to help differentiate their products
- multinational corporations keen to leverage Australian expertise and build capacity and presence in global supply chains
- enterprises and nations seeking education, equipment and technology services in agricultural production and food innovation to build their own capability
- technology businesses looking for opportunities to trial and further develop their solutions in a varied environment.
Note: * Exaggerated to improve visibility.
Feeding global food and fashion – our prime exports
Beef and beef cattle | Wheat | Wine | Wool | Lamb and mutton | Fruit | Sugar | Barley | Canola | Tree nuts | Dairy products | Raw cotton | Rock lobster
A thriving agritech and foodtech sector
Australia is fast emerging as a hub for Agriculture 4.0 – the next generation of technologies set to revolutionise the agrifood sector.
Our agritech and foodtech sectors are booming, with more than 2500 agritech and foodtech enterprises across Australia. The industry comprises farmers, startups, scaleups and enterprises, a rich pool of accelerators and incubators, industry groups, and world-leading universities and research institutions.
If you’re an overseas agritech or foodtech business looking to trial and develop your solutions in a varied environment, you’ll find cutting-edge capabilities and investment opportunities in Australia, in areas such as:
- agriculture biotechnology: on-farm inputs for crop and animal agriculture, such as genetics, microbiome, breeding and animal health
- farm management software, sensing and Internet of Things: agriculture data capturing devices, decision support software and big data analytics
- innovative food: novel ingredients, functional food, nutraceuticals, plant-based meat, and cultured meat and dairy
- supply chain and food technologies: food safety and traceability technology, processing technology, shelf-life enhancement, logistics and transport
- farm robotics, mechanisation and equipment: on-farm machinery, automation, drone manufacturers, and optimisation equipment
- bioenergy and biomaterials: non-food extraction and processing, feedstock technology, green-chemistry and cannabis pharmaceuticals
- novel farming systems: indoor farms, aquaculture, and insect, algae and microbe production
- agribusiness marketplaces: commodities trading platforms, online input procurement and equipment leasing.
R&D excellence and opportunities
There are also exceptional opportunities in breakthrough research and technology solutions and partnerships. Fifteen agritech incubators or accelerators support innovation in the sector.
Companies can access R&D and commercialisation expertise through rural research and development corporations, co-operative research centres, universities and dedicated agriculture and food innovation hubs.
And you can find innovative agricultural research, technologies and commercialisation opportunities in online platform growAg.
If you’re a researcher, the CSIRO – Australia’s peak science agency – is reimagining agriculture through its Future Science Program and if you are looking to collaborate and source their expertise, the company creation team is there for you.
Incentives, grants and support
- Government grants are available specifically for the agrifood sector, as well as tax incentives for R&D into agrifood.
- The Accelerating Commercialisation grant provides access to expert guidance and financial assistance to help businesses commercialise their novel products, processes and services.
- The Australian Research Council’s Linking Projects scheme promotes national and international collaboration and partnerships between key stakeholders in research and innovation including higher education, government, business, industry and end-users.
- The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program funds industry-driven collaborative research programs for up to 10 years. Three CRCs focused exclusively on the agriculture industry include Future Food Systems, Food Agility and Fight Food Waste.
- The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Free Trade Agreement portal provides information about new trade opportunities with overseas markets, existing free trade agreements, tariffs for different products, the latest trade data and more.
- You can also find agritech products available in Australia on the Food Agility CRC’s Agtech Finder Database.
- Australia’s Food and Beverage National Manufacturing Priority Road Map supports local food and beverage manufacturers to capitalise on the global appetite for Australian-made products.
- The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.
- CSIRO is delivering three agrifood Missions: Future Protein; Trusted Agrifoods; and Drought resilience. CSIRO’s National Protein Road Map Report provides the latest information on opportunities in Australian animal and plant protein at Australia's Protein Roadmap - CSIRO.
- American food and ag company Elo Life Systems set up its first international lab in Australia, using world-leading genome editing technology.
- Global agricultural sciences company FMC chose Australia as the launch market for a game-changing herbicide.
- Food giant Chobani has created its own Australian success story.
- A second-generation Australian banana farmer has developed an innovative product line using unwanted waste and now Natural Evolution is scaling-up.
- The CSIRO has multiple food innovation success stories.
- 72% of production is exported
- A$57 billion in agrifood exports in 2021–22
- A$9.1 billion in beef exports in 2021–22
- Agrifoods delivered 11% of Australian goods and services exports in 2019–20
- We produce enough food to feed 80 million people every year
- 11 out of Australia’s top 15 export markets are in the Asia Pacific
- Regional free trade agreements give our growers preferential access to the dynamic markets of the Asia Pacific
- The plant-based protein sector is projected to grow to A$3 billion by 2030
Pioneering the Future of Food Production
Are you a talented individual working in agrifood or agtech?
Get an idea of the kinds of skills and roles we’re looking for
We’re looking for exceptionally talented individuals who are technology leaders in the food supply sector. This includes agtech specialists in biotechnology, digital agriculture and marketplaces, farm management software, sensing and Internet of Things (IOT), robotics and novel farming systems.
We are also looking for foodtech experts in areas such as alternative proteins, novel ingredients and functional food, supply chain and food technologies incorporating traceability, food safety, shelf-life enhancement, logistics, bio-materials and bio-energy.
The following specialisations are intended to be used as a guide and are not an exhaustive list. The global talent profile provides examples of the calibre of individuals who may meet program requirements.