Food Drink

South Australia boosts export growth with increased funding for Food SA, and new trade initiatives

South Australia leads national export growth for the fourth consecutive month, unveiling a strategic funding boost for Food SA aimed at surpassing $3 billion in trade by 2027, strengthening global market ties.

Photo: Sam Tucker from Tucker’s Natural

In a strategic move aimed at further boosting South Australia’s export sector, the State Government has announced increased funding for Food South Australia (Food SA). This financial commitment is part of a four-year plan designed to enhance trade initiatives and assist South Australian exporters in achieving more than $3 billion in export sales by 2027. The announcement reaffirms the state’s leading position in national export growth, marking the fourth consecutive month where South Australia has recorded growth in this sector.

Food SA, which serves as the peak industry body, will use this additional funding to facilitate international delegations, participate in domestic tradeshows, and host global food and beverage importers during state-coordinated familiarisation visits. These efforts aim at expanding the global reach of South Australia’s food and beverage exports.

Amid a global economic downturn affecting exports, South Australia has displayed notable resilience and growth. The state’s merchandise exports have grown by 2.6 per cent in the year leading up to April, in contrast to a national decline of over 10 per cent. Notably, trade with the United States has surged, reaching $2 billion for the first time, up by 38 per cent. Meanwhile, exports to China have soared by 42 per cent, now valued at $3.9 billion, driven largely by a robust recovery in wine and barley shipments following the recent lift of tariffs.

In support of wine exporters, the government has also rolled out a $1.85 million package to facilitate re-entry into global markets, ensuring sustained growth and competitive advantage.

Food SA operates as an independent, industry-led, and membership-based organisation, dedicated to nurturing the state’s food and beverage industry. By helping businesses of all sizes expand their markets, capabilities, and industry connections, Food SA plays a crucial role in the sector’s ongoing success.

Joe Szakacs, Minister for Trade and Investment, highlighted the importance of the government’s support for Food SA in helping local companies scale globally. “We’re seeing repeated evidence that there is a global palate for SA’s incredible food and beverage offerings, and by committing our support to Food SA, we are able to extend the reach of our export services to more SA companies,” he said.

Food SA’s Chair, Ray Borda, spoke about the reinvigorated partnership with the government, which he believes will pave the way for a stronger future in the sector. “Food South Australia are delighted to see the re-establishment of our long-standing industry-government collaboration through this four-year food and beverage trade development program agreement, paving the way for a stronger future in our sector.

“Food SA members and the broader food and beverage industry are winners out of this program announcement, which coordinates the trade development activities of both Food SA and the Department for Trade and Investment. It is a comprehensive program covering domestic and international market development, which continues to support the South Australian Export Strategy, the delivery of business capability development, and celebrates our iconic food and beverage producers through the South Australian Premier’s Food and Beverage Industry Awards.
“In addition, through the exciting TradeStart Export Advisory Residency at Food SA, we will be creating even more trade opportunities for food and beverage businesses, with the team also looking forward to continuing to build opportunities for businesses to grow, sustainably.”

Reflecting on the direct benefits to local enterprises, Sam Tucker, Owner and Managing Director of Tucker’s Natural, shared his positive outlook. “I am pleased that Food South Australia and DTI are working in partnership to support the growth of local family businesses like ours in domestic and international markets,” Tucker said.

Meanwhile, Luca Scalza, Director at Pure Origins, praised the program for helping businesses like his to harness opportunities in significant international markets, such as the United States. “Introducing a new range of services and programs to support is vital for our business,” Scalza noted, highlighting the extensive support provided by Food SA and DTI in past endeavours.

The initiative not only signifies a strong government-industry collaboration but also positions South Australia as a leader in the national export landscape. The extended reach and enhanced capabilities offered through this partnership are expected to foster significant growth and sustainability in the state’s vital food and beverage sector.

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