Measurement Solutions Blog

Australia's food processing sector has expanded over the past decade.

Australia's agribusiness and food sector is incredibly complex, comprised of businesses specialising in specific practices that enable the market to function at a sustainable rate. 

Each of the companies participating in the food industry employ innovations that boost their overall competitiveness. Implementing new management practices supported by more accurate and reliable information from production facilities, for example, enables agricultural companies to quickly develop growth strategies. 

If Australia's agribusiness sector can operate more efficiently than other national markets, then the country's worldwide presence will improve as a whole. In regards to its competitiveness, where does this industry stand now, and how can it improve its position in the future?

Performance in food and beverage manufacturing 

The Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science collected data between 2003-04 and 2013-14 pertaining to the nation's agribusiness sector.

Upon scrutinising the information, the authority discovered that manufacturing value add for food, beverage and tobacco products rose 2.3 per cent within that time period. In contrast, other manufacturing sub-sectors such as textiles, wood and energy declined in value between 2003-04 and 2013-14.

Employment statistics have shown that the food, beverage and tobacco products sector has risen consistently since 2004. In that year, this industry accounted for 18.7 per cent of total manufacturing employment. That rate had risen to 24 per cent by 2014, providing work to 222,900 people. 

These figures provide an optimistic outlook for Australia's food and agribusiness sector. However, that doesn't mean companies competing in this market should get too comfortable. Taking iterative, minute measures such as servicing industrial equipment regularly and reducing energy consumption can go a long way in ensuring the agricultural economy continues to grow. 

Fostering expansion

Australia's commitment to sustaining agribusiness's proliferation has prompted authorities to launch the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, also dubbed Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL). As noted by the Department of Industry, the aim of the organisation is to encourage collaboration between researchers and commercial parties to foster innovation. 

Again, innovation comes in many forms. The FIAL will not only create the incentive for enterprises to use new technologies but also identify opportunities to reduce regulations, improve relationships with international markets and enhance workforce skill sets. Within the first year of its existence, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre intends to: 

  • Establish a 10-year strategy for the sector;
  • Aggregate information regarding agribusiness and organise it into directions that help business leaders address challenges;
  • Develop plans to enhance market accessibility, enabling Australian firms to easily conduct transactions overseas. 

The crux of FIAL's initiatives lie in promoting collaboration between researchers and businesses across the agricultural and food processing industry. Business leaders can express their needs and competitive challenges to scientists and academics, who can analyse data and experiment with technologies to propose solutions. 

Establishing efficient operations

Economic principles apply to every sector. Just as supply, demand and competition impact mining commodity prices, the same realities also affect the price of agricultural products. In a highly competitive market such as agribusiness, enterprises are forced to introduce efficiencies, enabling them to lower the prices of their goods. 

The question is: How can food manufacturers, grain farmers and other market participants introduce these efficiencies? The first step lies in ensuring equipment are operating at an optimal level. 

Food production facilities, for example, depend on bin level instruments and other such devices to determine exactly how much material they process on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. Inaccurate instruments introduce financial problems and also produce poor data that skews analyses.

Ensuring the efficacy of all agribusiness equipment is the first step to increasing a firm's competitiveness. If you want to learn how SRO Technology can help you do so, contact our team today