The department is a focal point for the development and consideration of food processing industry policy issues within Government. It is responsible for promoting and maintaining links across the Australian Government departments and agencies responsible for implementing elements of the Government's food industry policies.
The department's key objectives in relation to food processing are to:
- provide policy advice and support to portfolio Ministers on the food processing industry.
- build and maintain effective links with food processing industry and their representative organisations and
- foster an understanding of the critical factors influencing the start-up, growth and innovation in the food processing industry generally.
For further information relating to small business, visit the business.gov.au website.
Key facts and statistics
The Food Processing Industry Fact Sheet contains key facts and statistics about the food processing industry. The department has also developed a data card which details the key facts of Australian food product manufacturing.
Support for food processing firms
The Australian Government is committed to providing support to the food industry through the following programs:
Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive
The R&D Tax Incentive provides a targeted tax offset designed to encourage more companies to engage in research and development in Australia. It is a broad-based, market-driven program that aims to boost company competitiveness, improve productivity and deliver economy-wide benefits to Australia. Providing generous benefits for eligible research and development activities (R&D activities). The two components of the program are:
- a 45 per cent refundable tax offset for eligible companies with an aggregated turnover of less than $20 million per annum; or
- a non-refundable 40 per cent tax offset for all other eligible companies.
The R&D Tax Incentive is jointly administered by AusIndustry (on behalf of Innovation Australia) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The Enterprise Connect Food Processing Industry Support Network is a specialised national group. It brings together Business Advisers with specialist expertise and networks, and helps Australian businesses in the food processing sector who transform products for consumers and other upstream processors. It is targeted at improving operations, productivity, competitiveness and sustainability by providing professional business advice, development services and linkages.
Clean Technology Investment Program
As part of the Clean Technology Investment Program, the Government has allocated $200 million over six years to the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program. The program is assisting food and beverage processing and metal foundries to embrace less emissions-intensive and more energy-efficient production processes. Businesses that invest in improving their energy efficiency will benefit from reduced energy costs. The food processing sector has a dedicated funding stream of $150 million.
Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)
Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) is a research partnership driven by end-users. It is set up to address clearly articulated, major challenges that require medium to long-term collaboration efforts. Each CRC’s focus is to deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits to Australia. There are currently 42 CRCs operating in 4 ANZSIC sectors: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (11); Mining (4); Manufacturing (5); and Services (22). The Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre is one of these CRCs providing large-scale partnership between dairy farmers, pasture and cattle breeding companies, government and researchers. It continues a strong history of dairy industry and government investment in breakthrough technology, and will work with a broad range of new ‘bio’ sciences to deliver real gains for dairy farmers. Dairy Futures CRC is a great example of a truly integrated innovation project, and is the single largest research program for the Australian dairy industry.
Australian Research Council (ARC)
The Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) offers a suite of funding schemes attractive to both university-based researchers and industries. The recently announced first round of funding has a focus on research areas that are vital for, and assist with, Australia’s future food storage, food processing, manufacturing capabilities and product opportunities.