Fifty billion reasons to back farmers

A new report reveals the NSW food and agribusiness sector could be worth $50 billion in terms of value-adding and create 223,000 jobs by 2030. 

NSW Farmers CEO Pete Arkle said the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre’s (FIAL) Capturing the Prize for NSW report shows enormous potential for Australian farmers and producers to grow the economy, with NSW making the biggest contribution of any state to the national food and agribusiness sector. It found the sector employed 135,000 people as of February last year, but that could grow by 65 per cent if value-adding opportunities were realised.

“Nationally we’ve been talking about being a $100 billion industry by 2030, and FIAL’s work shows we could double that number to $200 billion,” Mr Arkle said.

“By investing in value-adding, our farmers can produce ready-for-sale products instead of raw ingredients, and in turn we create more jobs and more economic activity for our communities.

“We already produce healthy plants and animals – there is huge potential to transition Australian agriculture into producing value-added healthy foods as well.”

Dr Barry McGookin, FIAL’s GM of Innovation, said the report launched on Thursday showed the top three growth opportunities for NSW were supply chain transformation, improved soil, water and land management, and taking advantage of the direct-to-consumer market.

Investment in these top three opportunities alone could contribute an additional $23 billion for the economy, creating over 110,000 jobs in NSW. 

“Ensuring that Australia’s food and agribusiness sector is prepared to make the most of the exciting shifts in science, technology and consumer markets is FIAL’s central mission and the underlying purpose of our work,” Dr McGookin said.

“This is an exciting time for growth and NSW has an immense opportunity to deliver greater value for the Australian economy.

“To capture all the available growth opportunities, we must invest and innovate to drive better productivity and give the next generation the keys to succeed.” 

FIAL is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation focused on growing Australia’s share of the global food market. To read more about the report, visit

Date: Thursday, June 9, 2022
Media Contact: Steve Mudd  | 0429 011 690 |