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Sectors of the AFI
- Sectors of the agri-food chain in the Australian food industry, including agriculture and fisheries,
food processing / manufacturing, food service and catering, food retail.
- Emerging technologies in food production, manufacturing and packaging including
biotechnology in genetically modified foods, ecologically sustainable production methods, such
as organic farming.
Aspects of the AFI
- Levels of operation and mechanism:
The term ‘level of operation’ refers to the scale of food production, as well as the amount of
sophistication of the technology used. The various levels of operation area are:
- Household → At this level, food production is very basic and the quantity of an
item produced is minimal, such as making a batch of lemon butter to sell at a
local craft market. Equipment used is restricted to home appliances.
- Small business → Food is produced on a small scale. Examples include boutique
cake shop and gourmet butcher shops. Equipment used is not usually industrial.
- Large company → A company may operate several stores or processing plants
and the quantity of food produced or sold is on a large scale. Many of the tasks
involved in the production process are automated and require less hands-on
labour. For example, Greens makes a range of packet cake mixes, which are
produced on a large scale for later distribution to retail outlets such as Coles and
Woolworths. Many processes used are mechanised.
- Multinational → A multinational food organisation or company operates all over
the world. These companies use highly sophisticated technology and have a
large product output or yield.



- Can specialise, often - Cannot take advantage of

producing gourmet items state-of-the-art production
- May be able to satisfy niche equipment
markets leading to greater - Low yield or output
opportunities if item is - May not be financially viable
successful in the market - Hard to maintain consistency
HOUSEHOLD - Can allow person to work and quality of produce
from home and work more - Production affected by
flexible hours seasonal nature of supplies.
- Operating costs are reduced
because no rental of factory
premises are required.

SMALL BUSINESS - Greater flexibility to diversify - Unable to store large

and switch to making quantities of ingredients or
different products goods
- Access to small-scale - Limited opportunity to source
commercial equipment different suppliers due to small
- Good local customer base scale
- Must be profitable to remain
competitive with larger
- Need to be in an ideal location

LARGE COMPANY - Large scale production - Less likely to produce

- Provides employment to boutique, specialised items
many - Higher likelihood of technical
- Large profit problems given large-scale
- Enjoys the benefits of production methods used .
automation - High cost of machinery and
- Can run continuously - 24/7 maintenance
- Exerts greater influence in - Open to extortion attempts
food sector, with larger voice - More removed from the
when dealing with customer
government - Possibility of industrial action
and intervention of unions
during disputes
- Expensive to buy into company

MULTINATIONAL - High volume of produce - Open to extortion attempts

- Provides employment to - Negative media felt worldwide
many - Must adhere to standards set
- Potential for higher profit by multinational company
given advantages of large- - No opportunity to diversify or
scale production to create unique products due
- Consistent quality of product to corporate nature of
and standards worldwide company.
- High degree of
computerisation and
- Often run 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
Research and development in the Australian food industry:
Quality assurance:
- A process of ensuring that set standards are met.
- It is needed to ensure consistency in products.
Quality control:
- Food organisations adopt measures of quality control to maintain their standards
- They create an optimum product (prototype) and then compare all other products with the
optimum to ensure that they consistently meet their quality standards
- maintaining standards and ensuring consistency
Critical control points:
- If the standards are not met at a point, something has to be done
- Such as things being heated to a specific temperature
- They are points that could risk public health, or the company could be at a financial loss
- Looks as problem areas in food production and aims to control or minimise hazards.
- They establish procedures to deal with any issues that arise; this helps to maintain a high-quality
- Hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP)
Critical control limits:
- Limits and boundaries of safety at that point
- E.g. temperature has to be between 90-93 degrees celsius → outside this limit is dangerous

Career opportunities:
- There is a wide variety of employment opportunities in the food industry for unskilled to semi-
skilled and highly-skilled workers.
- As the industry becomes more highly automated, the need for unskilled workers will decline.
- The Australian food industry is currently facing a major skills shortage in its workforce.
- Shift work is common in the Australian food industry food industry, especially in the foodservice
and catering sector.
- As in all areas of employment, wages in the food industry depend on skill level and the nature of
the work.
- Split shift → preparation people in first, then come back later and cook it. (restaurant)
- Working conditions in the food industry depend on the nature of business, but some of the
following characteristics are quite common:
- Remuneration (wages/salaries) depends on skill level and the nature of the work
- In many large organisations, a high proportion of employees belong to a trade union
- There has been an increase in enterprise bargaining, enabling employees to negotiate
directly with the employer.
- Promotion and wage increases are linked to performance reviews
- Some jobs may require employees to work in unusual conditions.
- Example; an employee in a food storage warehouse may have to work at low
- Workers may be required to wear specialised personal protective equipment while
doing their jobs.
Policy and Legislation:
- A food policy is a strategy that provides the overall philosophy of the government on a
particular issue related to the food industry.
- Such as the government's policy on genetically modified foods or its policy on importing
new products. Policy may change especially when a new government is elected to office
- If you break the law this can result in penalties, jail
- Legislation is law passed by the government that describes what is legal in specific situations.
- Legislation can be passed by government at a local, state or federal level - this can be a
lengthy process
- Business in the food industry must adhere to laws otherwise they are fined and
can even be put out of business.

Advisory Groups:
- Various independent organisations are set up to guide or advise governments in the
development of their policies and law.
- Examples of advisory groups:
- Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)
- Food standards code - ensures that a manufacturer cannot make a new
food product available to consumers without first adhering to rigorous
- The code is a collection of individual food standards that are
divided into 4 chapters:

- Independent body that can make & change laws relating to food
- Carries out the following tasks:
- Development and review of the food standards code
- Development of risk assessment policies for imported foods
- Surveillance of food available in Australia
- Monitoring and control of food safety education
- Food product recalls
- Research into food standards
- National and international networks to keep abreast of
international trends in food standards.
- National heart foundation
- Advises the government on specific health issues
- Monitoring and controlling food safety
- Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)
- Groups that protect the local food supply.
- Protects our agriculture industries and the environment against
exotic pests and diseases.
- *** now called DAFF - Department of agriculture
fisheries and forestry.
- Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
- Apart of department of agriculture forestry and fisheries
- Food Authority
- Works on behalf of the government to register any penalty
notices in restaurants, cafes etc.