Victoria's agriculture and food industries

Victoria is Australia's largest producer of food and fibre products, and these make up over half of Victoria's total product exports. The state represents 27 per cent of total Australian food and fibre export value.

Victoria's food and fibre exports increased by $0.1 billion to reach a record $14.2 billion for the 2018–19 period, comprising:

  • $10.4 billion of food exports
  • $3.8 billion of fibre exports.

The agriculture and processed food industries directly support 145,000 jobs, many of which are in regional Victoria.

  • 68,400 in agricultural production
  • 76,800 in food and beverage manufacturing.

An additional 45,800 people work in agriculture support, aquaculture, and forestry and fisheries production or manufacturing.

The major commodities produced in Victoria (by gross value in 2017-18) are:

Commodity

Gross value ($ billion)

Beef

2.1

Sheep meat

1.8

Wool

1.4

Dairy

2.6

Grains

2.3

Vegetables

1.1

Fruit and Nuts

1.3

Other agriculture

2.4

Dairy farms are the most common type of farm in Victoria. Most farms produce more than one commodity, especially among sheep, cropping and beef farms.

  • Dairy farms — 23%
  • Cropping farms — 20%
  • Beef farms — 19%
  • Sheep farms — 19%
  • Horticulture farms — 11%
  • Other farms — 8% (includes horses and poultry).

Victoria's top earning agricultural exports are:

  • meat — $4.1 billion
  • animal fibre — $2.1 billion
  • dairy — $2 billion
  • grains — $650 million
  • horticulture — $1.6 billion
  • wine — $400 million
  • prepared foods — $1.5 billion.

China, Japan and the USA are our largest markets.

Latest statistics

The following factsheet covers key aspects of Victorian agriculture: its contribution to the broader economy, exports, land and water use, production trends and productivity.

Victoria overview

Victoria is a highly productive region, generating 23 per cent of Australia's agricultural output and 30 per cent of its food processing by value. Victoria's climatic diversity means it can produce a wide range of agricultural products, while its compact size and quality infrastructure make it easy to transport agricultural produce to food processing facilities, domestic markets and export facilities.

Find out more:

Overview of major industries

Victoria has a moderate yet diverse climate and is able to produce a highly diverse range of agricultural commodities within a compact area.

Dairy

Victoria is Australia’s major dairy producing and exporting state, accounting for 62 per cent of Australian milk production.

Beef and sheep

Victoria produces more than 40% of Australian lamb, and its beef industry is the most export-oriented of any Australian region.

Other livestock

Chicken meat, eggs and pork products from Victoria have strong demand throughout Australia.

Grains

Victoria’s extensive grain regions have the soils and climate to produce premium quality cereals, pulses, legumes and oilseeds on a large scale.

Horticulture

Victoria’s diverse climate and soils are major assets for horticulture producers. They mean longer growing seasons and a wide range of horticulture products.

Food processing

Victoria is Australia’s major food processor state, accounting for one third of the processed food produced by Australia.

Regional overview

Regional Victoria is divided into nine regions. Find out more about the agricultural products produced in each region.

Barwon

Livestock industries such as dairy, beef and poultry account for nearly 80 per cent of Barwon’s total value of agricultural production and reflect the region’s inherent factors of advantage.

Central Highlands

Central Highlands is uniquely populated with small, niche farms that provide paddock-to-plate meals, creating an ideal opportunity for agritourism growth.

Gippsland

Gippsland farms produce over $2.0 billion in agricultural output each year primarily in beef, dairy and vegetable products.

Goulburn

This region has a long history in food processing, especially dairy and fruit processing with companies such as SPC Ardmona, Unilever and Freedom Foods choosing to process in the region.

Great South Coast

This region is highly suited to livestock production with productive pastures, fertile soils, access to supplementary feed such as grains and hay, and a relatively high and reliable rainfall.

Loddon Campaspe

This region has a diverse landscape that is suitable for many agricultural enterprises and products. It is especially well known for gourmet food and wine offerings.

Mallee

This region is strategically located along important intrastate and interstate transport routes, through the major regional city of Mildura.

Ovens Murray

Beef, dairy and sheep meat account for nearly 73 per cent of Ovens Murray’s total value of agricultural production reflecting this region’s availability of good rainfall, water, pastures and fodder.

Wimmera Southern Mallee

Agriculture plays a prominent role in the regional economy, with grains, sheep meat and wool the main commodities.

Invest in Victorian agriculture and food processing

Discover more about the excellent investment opportunities available across Victoria’s agriculture and food processing sectors. Explore the competitive advantages of Victoria’s diverse regions

Victorian agriculture interactive map

This interactive map provides access to a wide range of agricultural data including processing and production information for the different industry sectors as well as environmental and infrastructure data.

Discover more about the excellent investment opportunities available across Victoria’s agriculture and food processing sectors.

Invest in Victorian Agriculture
Page last updated: 24 Nov 2020