Victoria's agriculture and food industries
The statistics below provide an overview of the current state of Victorian agriculture, covering key aspects of Victorian agriculture: its value of production, its contribution to employment, food and fibre exports, land use and the number of farm businesses. We have sourced the statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unless otherwise stated.
Gross value of agricultural production
Victoria’s gross value of agricultural production (GVAP) was $17.8 billion in 2019–2020, an increase of 12 per cent from 2018–2019. Victoria Australia’s largest agricultural producer by value, with Victoria’s GVAP representing 29 per cent of Australia’s GVAP.
The major commodities produced in Victoria (by gross value in 2019–2020) were:
|Commodity||Gross value ($ billion)|
|Fruit and nuts||2.02|
Employment in agriculture production and food industries
In 2020–21, a total of 146,600 persons were employed in agriculture production and food manufacturing:
- 74,800 in agriculture production
- 71,800 in food and beverage manufacturing
Of all states, Victoria had the largest number of persons employed in agriculture and food industries, contributing 28 per cent to the agriculture and food employment in Australia. According to ABS data, there are an additional 1,400 persons employed in forestry and 5,100 in agriculture, forestry and fishing support services. More than 75 per cent of employment in agriculture production is in regional Victoria.
Of the agricultural industries in Victoria, beef cattle was the largest employer, followed by sheep and grains industries:
Number of farm businesses
There were 21,700 farm businesses in Victoria in 2019–20, accounting for 25 per cent of farm businesses in Australia. Victoria’s farm numbers have declined by 4 per cent per annum in the past decade, falling from 32,400 in 2010–11 to 21,700 in 2019–20.
Farms producing beef cattle are the most common type of farms in Victoria. Most farms produce more than one commodity, especially among farms producing sheep, cropping and beef cattle.
- 10,000 farms produce beef cattle
- 8,600 farms produce sheep
- 5,900 farms produce grains
- 3,500 farms produce dairy
- 2,850 farms produce horticulture for human consumption
Area under farming
The area of land used for agriculture production in Victoria was 11.3 million hectares in 2019–20, or 50 per cent of the state’s total land area. Of the total agricultural land, 42 per cent was used for cropping and 52 per cent for grazing.
Food and fibre exports
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 26 per cent of total Australian food and fibre export value. Victoria's food and fibre exports increased by $0.3 billion to reach a record $14.5 billion for the 2019–20 period, comprising:
- $11.4 billion of food exports
- $3.1 billion of fibre exports
Victoria's top-earning agricultural exports are:
- meat – $4.7 billion
- animal fibre – $1.4 billion
- dairy – $2.1 billion
- grains – $1.1 billion
- horticulture – $1.6 billion
- wine – $380 million
- prepared foods – $1.3 billion.
China, USA, Japan, New Zealand and Indonesia were the most valuable markets for Victorian food and fibre exports in 2019–20, accounting for 61 per cent of Victoria’s food and fibre exports.
The following factsheet covers key aspects of Victorian agriculture: its contribution to the broader economy, exports, land and water use, production trends and productivity.
The Fast Facts supplement the Food and Fibre Economic Factsheet, providing more details on the recent performance of Victorian agricultural industries.
Beef industry fast facts
Dairy industry fast facts
Grains industry fast facts
Horticulture industry fast facts
Pig industry fast facts
Poultry industry fast facts
Sheep industry fast facts
Wine industry fast facts
Wool industry fast facts
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:
- Invest in Victoria overview report (PDF - 1.6 MB)
- Invest in Victoria overview report (WORD - 60.2 KB)
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.
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.
Chicken meat, eggs and pork products from Victoria have strong demand throughout Australia.
- Other livestock in Victoria report (PDF - 1.2 MB)
- Other livestock in Victoria report (WORD - 48.2 KB)
Victoria’s extensive grain regions have the soils and climate to produce premium quality cereals, pulses, legumes and oilseeds on a large scale.
Victoria’s diverse climate and soils are major assets for horticulture producers. They mean longer growing seasons and a wide range of horticulture products.
Victoria is Australia’s major food processor state, accounting for one third of the processed food produced by Australia.
- Food processing in Victoria report (PDF - 1001.4 KB)
- Food processing in Victoria report (WORD - 50.1 KB)
Regional Victoria is divided into nine regions. Find out more about the agricultural products produced in each region.
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 is uniquely populated with small, niche farms that provide paddock-to-plate meals, creating an ideal opportunity for agritourism growth.
- Agriculture and food in Central Highlands (PDF - 1.0 MB)
- Agriculture and food in Central Highlands (WORD - 46.0 KB)
Gippsland farms produce over $2.0 billion in agricultural output each year primarily in beef, dairy and vegetable products.
- Agriculture and food in Gippsland (PDF - 788.7 KB)
- Agriculture and food in Gippsland (WORD - 47.2 KB)
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.
- Agriculture and food in Great South Coast (PDF - 981.1 KB)
- Agriculture and food in Great South Coast (WORD - 47.9 KB)
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.
- Agriculture and food in Loddon Campaspe (PDF - 1.2 MB)
- Agriculture and food in Loddon Campaspe (WORD - 47.3 KB)
This region is strategically located along important intrastate and interstate transport routes, through the major regional city of Mildura.
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.
- Agriculture and food in Ovens Murray (PDF - 1.3 MB)
- Agriculture and food in Ovens Murray (WORD - 48.8 KB)
Wimmera Southern Mallee
Agriculture plays a prominent role in the regional economy, with grains, sheep meat and wool the main commodities.
- Agriculture and food in Wimmera Southern Mallee (PDF - 1.1 MB)
- Agriculture and food in Wimmera Southern Mallee (WORD - 47.7 KB)
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.
Invest in Victorian Agriculture
Discover more about the excellent investment opportunities available across Victoria’s agriculture and food processing sectors.Invest in Victorian Agriculture