18 January 2016
While it would be easy to look ahead to the new year and see only trouble for South Australia's manufacturing industries, as the impending closure of Holden's plant at Elizabeth draws ever nearer, one chief executive sees potential in the state's food and agriculture sector.
Following the release of BankSA's 'Trends: Premium food for thought' report in December, BankSA CEO Nick Reade is tipping agribusiness as South Australia's next major growth sector.
"The big eye opener for me is the food and food manufacturing industry could become our biggest employer," Mr Reade told The Advertiser on December 8.
As the Australian manufacturing sector looks to shift focus, cushioning the blow from the closure of major automotive industries, the federal government's new National Innovation and Science Agenda will be of great benefit to all states heading into 2016.
What's ahead for South Australian agribusiness?
According to BankSA's report, 47,000 people are already employed in South Australian agricultural industries, which generated $5 billion in export revenue in 2014-15. Mr Reade notes that agribusiness has been tipped by McKinsey and Deloitte as a key growth driver across the nation, while the state government sees the sector as one of its top 10 economic priorities.
Last year was an important one for Australian agriculture, following the signing of several free trade agreements with Asian nations, including Japan, Korea and China, knocking down restrictive tariffs on many exports. According to BankSA, the time is now ripe for the region's farmers to really step up production to meet the demands of the growing Asian middle class.
Keeping yourself competitive and able to meet demand in the years to come possibly means expanding your current agriculture operations. Ensuring you have the right farm insurance cover is a vital part of protecting yourself and your workers, so speak to your insurance agent today about any adjustments you might need to make to your policy.