In light of the recognised pressures on domestic manufacturing, it’s timely to reaffirm the importance of food manufacturing to the Goulburn Valley’s future. The iconic SPC Ardmona, along with dairy processing, is central to achieving a prosperous economic future for the region.
Last week in parliament I invited SPC Ardmona to brief the Nationals Party room and interested Coalition members on the situation facing the company and its plans for a sustainable future.
This includes rebranding and creating new products, working with its workforce to increase productivity and pursuing the institutional mechanisms available to level the playing field. It has successfully engaged the Australia public, and now both major supermarkets will stock 100 per cent Australian fruit for their private label products. Safe, high-quality Australian fruit is easy to sell domestically, but requires focused effort. However, for a sustainable future, a vibrant domestic market is not enough and exporting our first class produce must be part of the plan.
SPC Ardmona has initiated separate inquiries with both the Productivity Commission and the Anti-Dumping Commission with mixed results.
SPCA has found Australia’s institutions reluctant to rule in favour of domestic manufacturers with respect to unfair global trading practices.
Coalition Senators and members heard that SPCA is proactively addressing the many challenges facing domestic food manufacturers, as an innovative company of the 21st century.
Their investment in research and development has seen the production of healthy, high-quality and convenient products, meeting the demands of busy, diet-conscious consumers.
We all recognise investment is needed to kick-start this renovated business plan; a hand up, not a hand out to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for all.
Nationals Senator for Victoria