Victorian food and fibre export performance 2015–16
As Australia's largest food and fibre exporter, Victoria accounts for 26 per cent of Australian food and fibre exports, while accounting for just 3 per cent of the total landmass. In 2015-16, our state's total food and fibre exports were valued at $11.9 billion and accounted for 81 per cent of Australia's dairy exports, 48 per cent of horticultural exports and 39 per cent of prepared food exports.
One of the strengths of the Victorian food and fibre sector is its diversity, with a number of sectors doing well in 2015-16, and key markets such as China, Japan and New Zealand continuing to grow strongly. Prepared foods had a particularly strong year, earning $1.3 billion in 2015-16, increasing by $368 million in 2015-16 from the previous year (up 38 per cent).
Strong growth in prepared food is consistent with the innovation being shown by more Victorian businesses who are creating new products and seizing value-adding opportunities.
While market and climate forces will continue to influence our export performance year to year, the Victorian Government is committed to working with producers to respond to these changing conditions and helping grow the Victorian food and fibre sector in value, profitability and ingenuity.
The government's Food and Fibre Sector Strategy, released in March 2016, is a long-term plan for investment and jobs growth in this important sector. Importantly the strategy includes a number of actions to increase exports, build capacity, strengthen connections with customers, and grow market access.
To support this the 2016-17 State Budget included new investments in biosecurity, an expanded trade mission program and a stronger Victorian Government international trade and investment office network. Our $20 million Food Source Victoria initiative is one way the government is helping Victorian agri-food producers boost exports and jobs. The government is also helping the sector through significant investment in infrastructure like the Murray Basin Rail project that will help producers stay competitive and take advantage of export markets.