The Victorian Government this week announced its vision for the future of the state’s manufacturing industry, for the first time highlighting alternative proteins as a priority sector within food manufacturing. This development comes following increasing interest and support from the Victorian Government for the sector as illustrated in an investment in a plant-protein innovation hub in Horsham and lead sponsorship of the AltProteins 22 conference.
Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Ben Carroll launched the Made in Victoria 2030: Manufacturing Statement, which outlines the Government’s ongoing plans for the state’s $31 billion manufacturing industry. Within the Food Manufacturing sector, the statement included three priority areas for investment:
- New high-growth sectors such as alternative proteins and value-add opportunities
- Advanced food manufacturing capability and food innovation
- Growing Victoria’s sustainable food manufacturing capability
The statement notes that as Victoria is a market leader within food manufacturing, the state has a natural advantage for further development in food innovation as well as research and development in regional areas. Food manufacturing in Victoria accounts for roughly a third of the state’s total manufacturing revenue, with over $9 billion of manufactured food exported annually and over 74,000 people employed.
Within the new policy statement, the Victorian Government noted that the already strong agrifood sector still has room for significant innovation and growth, pointing to the work of existing R&D centres such as AgriBio research centre at La Trobe University and the National Food Innovation Centre at CSIRO in Werribee. The statement cautions that in order to achieve its full growth potential, a cohesive effort between researchers and industry, as well as investment into skills development is required.
Victoria remains in a prime position to benefit from the growing focus on alternative proteins with regional areas enjoying ideal growing conditions for the various inputs, such as the Wimmera region around Horsham, known for its high quality locally grown pulses like faba beans, lentils and field peas. The area is a plant protein powerhouse, home to a number of research centres in crop genetics and plant breeding, and the only commercial plant protein processing facility in Australia.
The Victorian Government’s plans to support the local food industry in capturing the emerging opportunities in alternative proteins aligns with calls from Cellular Agriculture Australia for more government investment in the sector to enable the Australian sector to reach its full potential as a leading hub of innovation.
“We’re supporting local manufacturers to succeed and create high-value jobs that deliver greater prosperity for Victorians – ensuring Victoria remains the manufacturing state in the future,” says Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Ben Carroll.
READ MORE: Made in Victoria 2030: Manufacturing Statement [Victorian Government]
Backing Manufacturers To Drive Our Economic Future [Premier of Victoria]