Food and Agribusiness

A highlight of Food & Agribusiness in Brisbane with Australian Country Choice

Brisbane offers outstanding opportunities in the expansive food and agribusiness sector, and commercialisation in this arena is well supported by the city’s research community.

As the closest major Australian east coast capital city to Asia and home to the Port of Brisbane, one of Australia’s fastest-growing container ports, Brisbane is best placed to cater to the growing demands of the Asia Pacific market for the secure supply of high-quality, high-value processed food and beverage products. Supported by the city’s world-class research and education facilities, Brisbane offers food and beverage product manufacturers a talented labour pool plus access to the latest food technology and innovation research.

The food and beverage, grocery, and fresh produce manufacturing industry is worth $114 billion to the Australian economy. It is the country’s largest manufacturing industry by annual turnover, employing about 310,000 people, representing 3 per cent of all employed people in Australia. The food and beverage processing industry makes up the majority of this, contributing $91.6 billion and about 220,500 jobs (Source: Australian Food and Grocery Council: State of the Industry Report, 2014).

The excellent local infrastructure, low state and local taxes, and the various support programs provided by the Queensland Government, makes Brisbane a great place to build a strong business

Brian Walker, General Manager - Tate & Lyle

Queensland's food and agribusiness sectors are world renowned for producing high-quality, safe, clean and green food at competitive prices. More than 1400 Australian and international food companies have established processing facilities in Queensland to take advantage of the range and quality of local produce and proximity to Asia Pacific markets. Queensland's thriving food and agribusiness industry grows one-third of Australia's primary produce. It employs more than 43,000 people and contributes more than $13 billion each year to the Queensland economy (Source: Queensland Government 2014, Business and Industry Portal - Investing in Queensland's food and agribusiness Industry).

Brisbane’s deep-water port facility and its proximity to Asia, coupled with the city’s strong economy, its world-class research and education facilities and pro-business policy environment, makes it the ideal location to invest in the expansive food and agribusiness sector.

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Brisbane's Competitive Advantage

Excellent economic fundamentals

With more than 45 per cent of Queensland’s population and an economy valued at $135 billion, Brisbane, as Australia’s new world city, is an economic powerhouse and the business hub of Queensland. Brisbane’s economy is forecast to grow by more than 60 per cent to $217 billion by 2031. (Source: Brisbane City Council, Brisbane 2012-2031 Economic Development Plan)  

Supply chain strengths in beef, fruit and vegetable production

Beef in Queensland

Brisbane has many supply chain advantages, including:

  • Queensland is Australia’s premier state for fruit and vegetable production, growing one-third of the nation’s produce. (Source: Growcom, The Queensland Horticulture Industry)
  • Queensland is Australia’s primary beef producer and is home to 49 per cent of Australia’s total beef cattle herd. (Source: Ibisworld, Organic Farming Report, 2011)
  • Organic farming is a high-growth area of agriculture across Australia, and Queensland has attracted 26 per cent of Australia’s organic producers. (Source: Ibisworld, Organic Farming Report, 2011)

Talent, innovation and education

Food technology and innovation research is particularly strong in Brisbane. Home to Australia’s first dedicated Health and Food Sciences Precinct, and with 200 on-site scientists from a range of health and food science disciplines, it promises to be at the forefront of food technology and safety research. Brisbane’s world-class education facilities ensure manufacturers have access to a high-quality labour pool.

Expanding infrastructure

With a strong vision for the future, the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government’s long-term commitment to invest in critical infrastructure continues to transform the city’s landscape with the ongoing delivery of new road, tunnel and rail links to support the competitiveness of industry and business. Since 2010, more than  $11.5 billion has been invested in key infrastructure in Brisbane, with significant projects under construction or in planning worth in excess of $8 billion. (Source: Brisbane Marketing)

Brisbane Markets

As Queensland’s largest and continually expanding centre for the marketing and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables, Brisbane Markets occupies 77ha of land just 11km from Brisbane’s CBD. With international-standard facilities and services including a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and 80,000sqm of temperature-controlled leasing space, Brisbane Markets is a unique offering for the food and beverage industry. (Source: ‘About’, Brisbane Markets, 2012 –



Brisbane is fast becoming a hub for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage manufacturing in Australia. 


The ingredients sector in Brisbane is at the forefront of global best practice. Its success is epitomised by the visionary development of functional ingredients, designed to add value to existing staples. 

Meat processing

Queensland is a major producer of livestock and livestock products, producing 43 per cent of Australia’s total meat exports (Source: DAFF, Meat export statistics, 2014).

Equally, Brisbane continues to have a major role in the meat-processing industry, with the Port of Brisbane exporting close to 50 per cent of Australia’s exports of frozen and chilled meat (Source: DAFF, Meat export statistics, 2014). Meat processors in Brisbane enjoy access to some of the world’s best grazing land and leading technology in breeding, feedlotting and processing. The industry is well supported by specialist food transport operations, and distribution costs from Brisbane can be as much as half compared with Sydney. 

Ready to eat

Coupled with the many other benefits, Brisbane’s proximity to Asia – the world’s biggest market for ready-to-eat (RTE) meals – and low cost base have consistently drawn RTE food manufacturers and distributors to the city. The domestic market is well serviced from the Brisbane region as distribution costs are much lower than from other major capitals. 


The quality catch taken daily from the waters of pristine Moreton Bay, combined with innovative processing technologies and facilities, means Brisbane is the ideal location for progressive seafood companies. Queensland has the largest fishing and seafood processing industries in Australia as home to between 20 and 25 per cent of fishing and seafood processing businesses (Source: Ibisworld, Fishing and Seafood Processing, 2014). 

Charan Judge

For all enquiries

Charan Judge, Manager, Investment Attraction (Industrial)
T: +61 7 3006 6223