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Agrifood

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 70% overseas. In 2019–20 Australian agrifood exports rose to A$48 billion. 

And we’re backing our farmers, fishers and foresters through our Ag2030 plan with a goal to generate A$100 billion in production by 2030. This would see a doubling of the current growth rate.

In 2020-21 Australia’s agriculture industry was worth A$71.2 billion (A$66 billion in farm gate value and A$5.3 billion from the fishery and forestry sectors). Achieving the Ag2030 goal will require a significant increase in productivity, increased market access and diversification; and continuing our reputation for high quality and sustainable produce.

Ag2030 is backed by A$850 million over 5 years in initiatives and incentives to lift farm gate output to ensure a streamlined path to export markets and boost modern manufacturing and supply chain capability. There’s funding to support new projects that will:

  • build water infrastructure
  • enhance soil quality
  • manage pests and weeds
  • protect Australia from biosecurity risks
  • prepare for future droughts
  • increase exports by diversifying and expanding export markets.

 

‘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

#12
globally

Ranked 12 globally for agricultural production

$800
million

A$800 million invested annually in R&D

Innovation

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.

 

Robot picking tomatoes

 

 

  • Our agricultural products made up 1.5% of the world’s total in 2019
  • 14th in the world for food patenting
  • the greatest proportion of the world’s organic agricultural area
  • World top 15 agricultural exporter  
  • 400 agritech & foodtech companies
  • 300 agritech startups in 2020
  • 15 agritech incubators/accelerators
  • R&D expenditure A$33 billion

Grow here

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.

Fonterra and The A2 Milk Company are just two of the international food producers doing business here. 

 

Australia's Agricultural Industries consist of grazing native vegetation, grazing modified pastures and cropping and horticulture

 

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 400 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, and 15 agritech incubators or accelerators support innovation in the sector. 

Companies can access support through rural research and development corporations, universities and dedicated agriculture and food innovation hubs.

And you can find innovative agricultural research, technologies and commercialisation opportunities in the newly established 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 Australian Government’s 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. CRCs focused on the agriculture industry include Food Agility and Fight Food Waste.
  • The Australian Government’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.

 

Case studies

Fast facts

  • Australia is ranked 12 globally for agricultural production
  • 70% of production is exported
  • A$48 billion in agrifood exports (FY20)
  • A$11 billion in beef exports (FY20 )
  • 11% of goods and services exports in 2019–20
  • We produce enough surplus to feed 60 million people every year
  • 8 out of top 10 export markets in 2019–20 were in the Asia Pacfic
  • A$800 million invested annually through 15 rural R&D corporations
  • Regional free trade agreements give our growers preferential access to the dynamic markets of the Asia Pacfic
  • The plant-based protein sector is projected to grow to A$3 billion by 2030

Factsheet

Australia's agrifood ecosystems

Recent arrivals

Photo of Hayley Richardson with her two children at the beach
Bahare Mohamadzade
Solomon Maina
Dr Ella Hodder