Manufacturing agriculture’s future: Opportunities and challenges in developing regional manufacturing for the Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector

  • 76 pages

  • Published: 5 Jun 2024

  • Author(s): KPMG Australia

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-480-6

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Australia has a diverse agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector, producing a range of food, fibre and feed products. The ever-evolving landscape is marked by regulatory complexities, supply chain disruptions, environmental, social and governance imperatives, and geopolitical tensions. This evolving landscape and the supply chain pressures of recent years compelled us to explore innovative regional manufacturing strategies for sustained future success.

In this report, we undertake the crucial task of identifying the on-farm inputs and outputs best suited for regional manufacturing, recognising the potential for substantial impact. The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) emerges as a pivotal instrument, offering support for the development of manufacturing capabilities in regional areas. Leveraging the NRF could facilitate the descaling and decentralisation of manufacturing. This report evaluates the economic, social and environmental impacts on regional communities, accompanied by a high-level supply chain analysis.

The pursuit of sustained success underscores our commitment to uncovering technologies that enable the domestic manufacturing of on-farm inputs and outputs while mitigating risks and supply chain vulnerabilities. Our focus is on pioneering a robust industry that not only sustains its standing, but disrupts international markets, securing enduring success. Beyond identifying suitable inputs and outputs for potential regional manufacturing, and identifying their barriers, the report seeks to unearth the available technologies to help facilitate this transition. Tailored recommendations for policymakers highlight the requisite changes to enable local manufacturing and the technological advancements pivotal for this transformative journey.

The report stems from a comprehensive analysis, including desktop studies, industry roundtables and meticulous evaluation of impacts. In identifying inputs and outputs ripe for regional manufacturing, it aims to enhance supply chain resilience and propel actionable progress. Embracing regional manufacturing isn’t merely an opportunity; it’s a catalyst for emission reduction, stabilisation of costs, fortification of supply chains against external instabilities, and growth of regional areas.

The challenges confronting Australian agriculture on both the domestic and global fronts are intricate. Our engagement with industry representatives and continuous analysis of logistical disruptions has provided invaluable insights into navigating sustainability targets, market changes, geopolitical shifts and inflationary pressures. The findings herein build on those insights, underscoring our commitment to helping producers navigate the landscape.