Economic analysis by the CSIRO has found that growth in demand for sustainable and healthy products could make the food and agribusiness sector more valuable than mining.
The report from CSIRO Futures, the national science organisation’s strategic advisory arm, found that spiking demand for plant-based proteins, foods for health and wellbeing and other emerging trends could be worth $25 billion by 2030.
The sector currently contributes about A$138 billion to the Australian economy, or about 7.6 percent of GDP, compared with 8 percent from mining.
Senior Economic Advisor at CSIRO Futures, Dr Katherine Wynn, said that these opportunities needed to be seized to realise this benefit and develop this market into a differentiated, de-commoditised, growth-adding sector.
“Achieving this growth will depend on continued innovation and investment by all players in the food industry,” she said.
“As consumer demand for healthy foods and foods with added health benefits increases, foods such as enriched yoghurt and fortified breakfast cereals are likely to claim a larger chunk of the $25 billion pie.”
The report found domestic sales to be worth $15 billion by 2030, and exports worth $10 billion projected, driven largely by rising demand in Asia.
The analysts found fortified and functional foods, such as antioxidant-enriched breads or omega-3 enhanced dairy products, to be the most valuable opportunity, with a projected increase from $6.7 billion in 2018 to $9.7 billion by 2030.
Demand for alternative protein sources is growing at 5 percent per year, around double the rate of the entire agribusiness sector, representing the second largest growth area.
The report found that on top of sales valued at $6.6 billion in 2030, these product represent an additional $5.4 billion in water savings and carbon emissions over traditional agricultural products.
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