The Australian food industry now accounts for 15 percent of all employment across the nation, a new government publication has revealed.
The Australian Food Statistics 2010-11 document released today also shows that the value of Australian farm and fisheries food production increased by 17pc in 2010-11.
In launching the report, agriculture minister Joe Ludwig said it was a comprehensive look at the industry, with some positive results.
“I'm pleased to reveal that in 2010-11, more than 1.68 million people from production through to food service were employed in the food business, contributing to one of the nation's most resilient and profitable industries," Mr Ludwig said.
“In 2010-11, there was a 2pc increase in employment in the sector, and we are confident the industry will continue to flourish.”
Minister Ludwig said the food industry was an important one for employment, but also the wider economy and national food security.
“As we celebrate the Australian Year of the Farmer in 2012, this report acknowledges the valuable role our primary producers play in Australian food production and supply,” he said.
“Australia is a food-secure nation and the Australian Government is taking important steps to ensure that remains the case for the long term. The nation is fortunate in being a net food exporter by a significant margin, with more than half of our food production exported to international markets.”
The contribution that farmers make to the Australian economy through this industry is reflected in Australia’s food exports which were valued at $27.1 billion in 2010-11, up 10pc from the previous year, largely attributable to more favourable seasonal conditions.
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