“The Great South Coast Region will strive to retain and build a greater share of the value of our food & fibre output. Creating community value for the region by reducing reliance on commodity sales through increasing first stage processing and manufacturing to move sales from the region further up the value-added ladder.”
The food and fibre sector across the Great South Coast is predominantly commodity-based. The vast majority of regional value is generated by dairy, meat, wool and grain and is to a large extent extensively value-added elsewhere.
Increasing value-adding within the Great South Coast would not only create regional economic activity and jobs, it would reduce transport costs, be more environmentally sensitive, and improve global competitiveness. The region has successful value-adding operations already with dairy companies, meat processors and others, so it is the intention to use their success to attract others to make investment with the opportunity to drive this harder.
The constraint to further value-adding is less about capital (capital can be easily found with a valid business case), and more to do with entrepreneurialism and ‘selling’ the opportunities. There are immediate opportunities for value-adding grains and oil seeds. Value-adding does not necessarily mean further processing, it can be achieved through branding or creating high-value products through differentiation and segregated supply chains (e.g. organic food marketed through closed-loop supply chains).