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The AFI involves the organized production, processing, storage and marketing of food products of mostly a very high standard. The Agri-food chain is the production and supply of food to the customer. Sectors of the industry include:

Agriculture & Fisheries:

Agriculture is the cultivation of land to produce crops or animals. Plant production involves: preparation of the soil, seed selection, sowing, fertilizing, irrigation, harvesting, storage and transportation. Animal production involves: production/supply of food and water, breeding, treatment of illnesses/disease, transportation. Fisheries involve the cultivation of various cold blooded aquatic species. Key features of agriculture and fisheries: Production of plants and animals. Technological developments have compensated for harsh climates. Primary industries contribute significantly to the Aussie economy.

Food Processing/Manufacture:
The value-added area is a major area within the AFI. Most primary produce (R.Ms) passes through this sector. Key features include: V.A foods provide employment and increased revenue stays in Australia. Processing must compete with o/s labour markets, processing has become mechanized to ensure economic viability. Many F.M industries are multi-national and the industry is diverse.

Food Service & Catering: This sector prepares food so it is ready to eat, referred to as the hospitality industry (e.g. restaurants, take

out joints, hotels etc.) and it can either be commercial or non-commercial through institutions e.g. hospital/prison. The following trends have emerged: - Australians are eating away from home more often. - Other organizations exist for the sole purpose of providing meals e.g. restaurants. - There has been an increase in the use of caterers. - Multinational retail chains aggressively compete for the fast food dollar in which home delivery is an important feature.

Food Retail: Involves the selling of foods at all levels. The selling of food depends on the actual food and the
distribution channels. The following trends have emerged: - Decrease in corner stores due to increased supermarkets (1-stop shop). - Speciality stores e.g. butchers and bakers are a feature. - Lifestyle changes leave less time to shop and increase demand for convenience foods. - Bulk purchases have increased and so has internet shopping. - Growth in ready to eat meals and renewed interest in fresh food due to health-conscious consumers.

Recent Developments In The AFI: Advances in technology e.g. purchase online and packaging. World and local developments i.e. war in Iraq or drought in Aust. increasing prices. Consumer expectations i.e. health conscious, low fat.


Levels Of Operation And Mechanization:

This refers to the scale of food production, as well as the amount and sophistication of technology used. The following table compares the various levels:
Household Small Business Large Business

Home produced or manufactured products. Often family business or partnership, often less than 20 staff members. Operates state-wide or country-wide e.g. United Dairies. A food company which operates in several countries e.g. McDonalds.

Always small scale with low levels of technology. Tends to be local e.g. local Chinese restaurant. Often a number of owners servicing a broad community. Medium to Large scale equipment. Large scale on all fronts and global.


Research And Development:

R & D is the process used to create new products and services. Competition drives manufacturers to create new products to increase mkt. share. Features include: - Expanding marketplace. - Continual consumer pressure to innovate. - CSIRO conducts food related research. - Research creates understanding of the market place.

Quality Assurance:
Quality is the ability to meet requirements. Quality control is the process where characteristics are measured, compared to a standard and acting on the differences if there are any. Q.C consists of economically developing, designing, producing, marketing and servicing products. Q.C aims to achieve quality assurance (Q.A), which is all parts of the company working together to maintain quality of products. H.A.C.C.P is an international approach to Q.A it involves: H.A.C.C.P assesses risks/hazards while identifying C.C.Ps. H.A.C.C.P then monitors theses C.C.Ps and records the information with continual supervision.

Consumer Influences:
The demographics and geographic location of the Australian population is always changing, many trends occur which includes: Increase in working hours and a decrease in time spent on food. Old population. Increase in health/food awareness. Increase in convenience foods, single serve and microwavable foods.

Impact On The Environment:

Conventional farming has a large effect on environment which includes: - Use of chemicals decreases land fertility, creates salinity and increases soil degradation. - Manufacturing and processing causes the emission of fossil fuels. - Waste from packaging. In response to this organic farming is becoming more popular. Organic farming improves soil fertility and increases organic matter in the soil without chemicals. Organic products are now becoming very popular as people are more health conscious about the effect of chemicals.

Impact On Society:
Due to migration food choices have increased and Australian cuisine has become very multicultural. Food is an important factor in celebrations i.e. Christmas, B-days etc. Australians spend only a fraction of time purchasing food and as little as 20% of their income on food.

Impact On The Economy:

The AFI is Australias largest manufacturing industry. Export market of over $19 Billion. Largest employer in Australia. Expanding due to tourism.

Career Opportunities & Working Conditions:

The AFI employs a large number of people. Unskilled workers are decreasing while skilled workers are increasing. There has been increased mechanization, automation and computerization which has meant workers have decreased. Working conditions vary from business to business, enterprise bargaining is popular. There are standards for working conditions i.e. butchers work at 10oC. Employees work shift work and work on public holidays. Usually casual/part-time work. There are gender issues within the AFI including: EEO, AA, maternity leave etc.


Advisory Groups & Legislation:
Food industry legislation is administered on 3 levels: - Federal. - State. - Local. Federal legislation includes: H.A.C.C.P. FSANZ. AQIS. TPA. Export Control (processed foods). State legislation includes: Protection Of The Environment Act (noise pollution act, clean water act and the clean air act). Health Act. O.H&S. Trade Measurement Act. NSW Food Act. Local legislation includes: Food surveillance officers. Codes for construction & alteration of food premises. Codes for inspection of food and food premises. Governments are advised by independent organizations on the development of policies and legislation. Each sector of the AFI has a different representative organization: Business groups within a sector e.g. Australia Dairy Corporation. A group that advises on specific issues e.g. National Heart Foundation. An independent body able to make/change laws relating to food e.g. FSANZ. A group that prevents local food supply from contaminants e.g. AQIS. FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand): FSANZ was set up by an act of parliament in 1991. It is an independent legislative body, so it is able to draw up legislation free from political influence. The objectives of FSANZ are to: Promote the supply of safe and wholesome food for the community. Promote fair trade and commerce in food, both nationally and internationally. Provide adequate information relating to food for consumers.

FSANZ works with a council of health ministers from all states and territories and with AQIS. Also helped set up the safe food policy 1998 by instigating HACCP. FSANZ develops the F.S (labelling, date of mfg, additives and residues/foreign objects in food) for Aust. & N.Z and other regulations. Approved F.S are published in the F.S.C, which was reviewed in 1999, as some codes were 20 years old and out of date. FSANZ carries out the following tasks: Updates and enforces the Australian Food Standards Code. Co-ordinates food product recalls (the removal from sale, distribution and consumption of foods that may pose a safety hazard to consumers) in co-operation with the states and territories. There are two reasons for recalls: A quality defect that presents a risk or a quality defect that is safety hazard. Conducts research on matters regarding food standards. Takes part in food safety education undertaken by the states and territories. Develops codes of practice for industry, regarding food standards. Develops risk assessment policies for food imported into Australia. Australian Food Standards Code: The A.F.S.C outlines a general list of standards which food producers must adhere to regarding: Labelling & advertising. Date of manufacture. Food additives including identification & purity e.g. Preservatives, colourings, anti-oxidants & modifying agents. Foreign objects in food. Residues in food. AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service): AQIS is part of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It works with the Australian Customs Service and Australia Post to protect Australian agriculture from contamination. AQIS is responsible for: Protecting Australian primary producers/the community from exotic pests. Inspecting legal imports. Checking quarantine status of o/s travellers. Providing export certification for agricultural produce/V.A goods. Negotiating national and international agreements. To protect Australia from exotic pests and disease, AQIS runs: An airport program. An international mail program with dogs and x-ray. A seaport program. A ballast water program, where ships identify where/when they have exchanged ballast water. A post-entry plant quarantine station, where exotic plants are inspected. Quarantine stations for imported animals. Random sampling of imported foods for contraband and correct labelling/additive use.

Government And Legislation:

Federal Government Policies: 1) Health And Nutrition Policy:

The main aim is to educate the public on wise food choices, to restrict the number of diet related disease and reduce the cost of health care. The Aust. Guide To Healthy Eating is a recent tool in the campaign. The food safety campaign conducts public education in an attempt to raise awareness amongst consumers and food handlers of the need for safe food handling practices. 2) Trade Policy: Australias trade policy has instituted the removal of trade barriers affecting both the import and export of food. Tools used include: reducing tariffs, raising quotas, eliminating subsidies and establishing free trade. 3) Trade Practices Act 1974: Controls trade in the form of: misuse of power, resale price maintenance, protection of competition, exclusive dealings and price discrimination. It also provides protection from: misleading conduct, bait advertising and offering gifts/prizes. State Government Policies: 1) Clean Air Act: Controls the output of odours and smoke from processing plan and is enforced by the NSW EPA. 2) Clean Water Act: The EPA controls water pollution by monitoring any gas, liquid or solid discharge into the water so it is safe for fish colonies and human consumption e.g. Wallace Creek contaminated Oysters. 3) Noise Pollution Act: Controls noise, sound and vibration from food processing plants. 4) Trade Measurements Act 1989: Ensures accurate measurement of equipment used for weighing and how equipment is use din front of customers. 5) N.S.W Food Act 1989: Enforces food standards and hygiene regulations in the food industry. It deals with: Adulteration: Reducing nutritive value, adding illegal substances and concealing damage. False Description: The food not meeting standards or incorrect labelling info. Unlawful Practices: Products must meet content and packaging requirements. False Advertising: False description on the label. 6) OH&S: Helps to protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work. Local Government Policies: 1) Appointment Of Food Surveillance Officers: Carries out the Food Act by routine inspection. This is the major way the Food Act is carried out. 2) Codes For Inspection Of Food & Food Premises: Cover the regularity of inspections and exemptions through acting on complaints and illnesses. 3) Codes For Construction And Alteration Of Food Premises: Covers building materials and installation guidelines for fixtures, equipment, toilets and window displays.