According to BankSA’s economic bulletin Trends, put together with Deloitte, SA’s agricultural industries could become the state’s largest employer with the demand for premium food internationally and domestically set to increase enormously over the coming decade.
“Around 47,000 people are employed in South Australia’s food industry, which is four times the combined workforce of our car and defence manufacturing sectors,” BankSA chief executive, Nick Reade said.
The report said the focus was building premium food trade with Asia and at home with the domestic market.
Reade said agriculture was the sixth largest industry in SA, accounting for just over 5 per cent of the state’s output.
The report stated that in 2013-14, the total value of agricultural commodities produced in SA was $5.9 billion, incorporating crops, livestock, horticulture, dairy and seafood.
“Agribusiness is a future growth industry and South Australia’s enviable reputation for producing clean, green food for the premium food sector is a strength that can’t be readily replicated in many other parts of the world,” Reade said.
“The opportunities in selling to Asia’s rising middle class are enormous, and they have been further enhanced by new Free Trade Agreements with Japan, Korea and China.”
According to research carried out by Prescott Securities for the InDaily Business Index Top 100 this year, food and wine contributed to 16 per cent of the entire state revenue brought in by SA industries included in the research.
Oil and mining contributed 22 per cent followed by construction and engineering adding 17 per cent to the states economy, based on the sectors in the Top 100.
The food and wine sector was also one of the state’s largest employers with 12 per cent. Construction and engineering employed 23 per cent and manufacturing 15 per cent.
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