The South Australian Government’s Growth State initiative aims to achieve an increase in Gross State Product (GSP) to an average annual rate of 3% per annum. As a key economic generator, food, wine and agribusiness has
been identified as one of the nine key growth sectors over the next ten years.

When industry leaders from food, wine and agribusiness met with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions and the Department for Trade and Investment in 2019 to develop this Growth State Sector Plan, none of us could have foreseen the unique series of events that would unfold in early 2020.

After coping with several years of drought, the summer of 2019-20 saw many of our most productive regions devastated by bushfires of an intensity never witnessed before. Then in March, our state was locked down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the most serious threat to our economy since the Great Depression.

Through all of this, the Food, Wine and Agribusiness Sector has remained resilient and the backbone of the state’s economy.

Backbone of the state's economy

This Food, Wine and Agribusiness Sector Plan is more relevant now than ever. Our sector provides essential food, beverage and fibre resources to Australians and communities worldwide.

Grain and livestock production, wine and horticulture, fishing and forestry, food and fibre manufacturing, generated $15.2 billion in revenue in 2018-19, while supporting over 76,000 additional jobs directly and through the input supply chain. The sector is central to the South Australian economy. It is the State’s largest export sector, largest manufacturing sector and the largest economic contributor and employer of the State’s nine Growth State Sectors.

Raising the bar with an ambitious target

This plan raises the bar, presenting an ambitious target of $23 billion in food, wine and agribusiness revenue by 2030 which will support the achievement of the Growth State target of lifting growth in the South Australian economy to 3% per annum.

The good news is that much of our primary production and food and beverage manufacturing has continued during the COVID-19 threat. Crops have been sown, wine has been made, food has been packaged, and meat, dairy, seafood, horticultural and forestry production has been sustained. South Australians have thrown their support behind local brands and we’ve seen local businesses adapt to connect
with consumers directly.

The challenge into the future is to support our industry in domestic and export markets - to feed a hungry world with our quality, safe and sustainable South Australian products.

Bold planning to make growth happen

The Food, Wine and Agribusiness Sector Plan identifies six key priorities that will make this happen. It seeks to:

  1. adopt new technology to grow productivity
  2. develop a skilled workforce
  3. improve our digital and transport infrastructure
  4. create new market opportunities
  5. ensure production is sustainable
  6. establish an operating environment that is supported by responsive and effective regulation.

This plan continues much of the innovative work already undertaken by our industry as they improve their competitiveness and profitability.
It also suggests what growth might look like over the next decade as producers respond to climate variability, changing consumer trends and the emergence of new overseas markets.

Meeting this significant challenge will only happen if our industry, industry bodies, government and other stakeholders such as universities and the supply sector, approach this with a sense of shared purpose, focus and partnership. Collaboration, a defining theme of this Growth Sector Plan, will be required.

We commend this bold, forward thinking and positive plan to the thousands of producers, food and beverage manufacturers who every day, grow South Australia.

Minister David Basham, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development

Minister Stephen Patterson, Minister for Trade and Investment

Rob Kerin, Executive Chairman Primary Producers SA

Ray Borda, Chair Food South Australia

Nick Waterman, President SA Wine Industry Association

Michelle Edge, Chief Executive, Department of Primary Industries and Regions

Leoni Muldoon, Chief Executive, Department for Trade and Investment