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Food, beverage and agribusiness

LISTEN: what will drive the future of Aus agri

ANZ Insights

2022-11-21 00:00

Increased desire for food security around the world will herald an exciting time for the Australian agriculture industry over the next decade – one with technology and sustainability at its forefront.

That’s the view of Michael Whitehead, Executive Director, Insights at ANZ Institutional. Speaking on podcast on the release of ANZ’s Greener Pastures 2 report, Whitehead said a growing global population, shifting provenance demands and an expanding global middle class were all strong drivers of demand.

“The future for [Australian] agriculture is to fill these changing demands,” he said. “[And] to do it in a sustainable and very long-term way, both for feeding everybody who needs it, and making sure producers, farmers, food processors, retailers and shippers can continue to do it in the best way possible.”

ANZ’s new report – a sequel to 2012’s Greener Pastures - looks into the state of Australia’s agricultural sector and highlights opportunities for the future. According to Whitehead, the report encourages collaboration between industry, government, investors and other stakeholders to ensure Australia’s export potential is at its best capacity for the next ten years.

“That export demand is going to be there,” he said. “We have to absolutely be able to fit it.”

Whitehead was joined on the podcast by Natasha Kemp, Director − Food, Beverage & Agriculture at ANZ Institutional. You can listen to the full conversation below.


Kemp said the last decade in Australian agriculture had been one marked by investment in infrastructure and discipline around capital management.

“A lot of that is now paying off and we're seeing our Australian customers from the farmgate all the way up to [large agribusinesses] really reap the benefits,” she said.

The key lesson from that period, according to Whitehead, is how collaboration allowed the sector to market Australian agriculture “properly to the world, and make it clear [the industry has] everything from low political risk to relatively good sustainability practises”.

“The investment came, the investment boosted Australian agriculture, all parts of [the sector worked together] and we're now seeing the results,” he said.

What also helped, according to Kemp, was the sector’s ability to export high-quality commodities to the right markets.

“The Australian agricultural sector should be proud of itself in regards to being able to tap into consumer markets overseas,” she said.

“China is a big market, but [Australia has] been able to diversify away from that as well. From the trade space, I think that has been the real highlight in the last ten years.”


Whitehead said Australian farms have been unafraid to embrace innovation over the last decade, used technological advancements and shifting best practice to “become more efficient, to deliver more”.

“Australian farmers have shown, sometimes almost without knowing it, they are prepared to try new forms of technology, adapt them where they can to their farms, really learn more about them and bring those on board,” he said.

Kemp said labour issues continued to weigh on the sector, but she expects ongoing growth in innovation to help alleviate that in the future.

“Even though labour is a constraint, the resilience and the innovation within the Australian agriculture industry means that that is usually an obstacle that we can surpass,” she said.

The conversation also touched on the importance of sustainable practices, the importance of agtech, the changing structures of family farms and shifting consumer perceptions around Australian agriculture. Listen to the podcast above to find out more.

Click HERE to read the Greener Pastures 2 report

LISTEN: what will drive the future of Aus agri
Staff Writer
ANZ Insights


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