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The Australian Food Industry - AceHSC ... The Australian Food Industry Sectors in the Food Industry Agri-food chain refers to production and supply of food for consumer. All links

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  • The Australian Food Industry

    Sectors in the Food Industry Agri-food chain refers to production and supply of food for consumer. All links in the chain rely

    on each other so if there’s a problem in one sector it affects the others. E.g. sour and small strawberries > modified recipe in manufacturing > food caterer substitutes another desert with sweeter taste, or retailer advertise strawberries at a ‘sale’ price to sell them.

    1. Agriculture and fisheries – beginning of food chain, all grown food both plants and animals ! Fisheries is the production of plants and animas in the water environment ! Aquaculture involves controlled farming of fish ! E.g. wheat, fruit, meat, poultry, seafood

    2. Food processing and manufacturing – Largest sector (everyone eats), altering raw materials ! Raw materials processed to make manufactured products. ! Primary industry products are refined then converted into a ‘value-added product’. ! They are much more popular than raw materials because they have been majorly

    processed ! E.g. bread, yoghurt, pies, breakfast cereal, cheese

    3. Food service and catering – Where ready to eat food is prepared, sold or delivered ! E.g. McDonalds, canteen, restaurants, take away outlets, catered functions, airlines

    4. Food retail – Where processed food is sold to consumers ! Products and service are limited, retailers vary in size, i.e. household or mutinational ! E.g. Coles, Woolworths, butchers, bakers, convenience stores

    Developments in the 4 sectors Developments in all sectors are driven by: technological advancement, need for companies to grow/prosper, world and local events (i.e. wars, recessions), and consumer expectations.

    Agriculture and fisheries " Small farms are being taken over by large companies – less competition, no local profits " Fishing quotas introduced to protect fish species – stabilised marine environment " GM crops on the rise (soya beans, tomatoes) – range of foods, increased production " Expansion of organic farming – environmentally friendly, company image " Production of trim lamb – meets healthy needs of consumers

    Food processing and manufacturing " New labeling laws - allergy and nutritional information " Advances in packaging - longer shelf life, UHT, convenience i.e. resalable " Organic foods as ingredients " Heat and serve products (pizza, noodles, stir fry) – convenient, busy lifestyles " Numerous serving sizes (individual, family of 4) – individual needs of consumer " Diverse - multicultural foods, variations to product i.e. cherry/diet/vanilla coke " Cured meats such as bacon - reduced fat, health needs of consumers

  • Food service and catering " Food courts, home delivery – convenient, range of choices, quick " Internet shopping – quick, convenient of home " Multicultural restaurants – more tastes, variety " More vegetarian items – individual needs of consumers

    Food retail " EFTPOS – easy payment, light wallet, convenient " Extended shopping hours – emergencies/needs, handy " Overseas shops – products that aren’t sold in Australia, variety " Leaner varieties of meats, e.g. lite ham – health needs of consumers

    Aspects of the AFI All organizations within the AFI concentrate on the following:

    1. Levels of Operation - scale of food production, sophistication of technology used Household - backyard strawberry grower Small and large businesses - local bread shop, Coles Multinational companies – McDonalds

    Large business means more people employed, more production volume, and more technology/ mechanization/computerization. Level of technology increases with size of the operation, employee numbers, profit, economic climate. Automation eliminates manual labour and ensures consistency. Large companies don’t get affected to seasonal factors of raw materials because they can make large production runs and have appropriate storage, whereas household operations have limited storage facilities, small-scale equipment, and insufficient employees for continuous runs. Large companies/multinationals influence smaller businesses on what food products are sold, technology used, development of quality assurance and R&D, and consumer trends

    2. Research and Development Expensive and takes time for results to emerge. Big companies have R&D budgets. Smaller companies ‘copy’ food products from larger companies, such as Kraft Peanut Butter and No Name Peanut Butter, cereals. Consumer demand drives new food products.

    CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation) – carries out research for a variety of food sectors, e.g. manufacture, packaging, technological research

    3. Quality Assurance Quality is the ability to meet requirements. It’s where all food products are checked against a standard during production to ensure safety. Quality control is measuring characteristics, comparing to standard, and act on differences that occur. Quality assurance (whole company) is the ultimate aim of quality control (individual/part of company) – all parts of company working together to maintain consistency of quality products.

    HACCP system identifies problem areas and monitors them, having a course f action if something does go wrong

    State government inspectors regularly check to ensure correct system usage, i.e. meat processing plants

  • 4. Consumer Influences Consumers are health conscious; they want to know what’s in a product. They want quick, easy, single serve and nutritionally enhanced foods. Food trends in consumer needs can be based on health issues, concern for the environment or change in customer demographics. Busier lifestyle and limited cooking skills > industry produces pre-prepared products Increasing number of people desiring ‘super health’ > vitamin/mineral supplements, functional foods

    5. Impact on Environment Conventional farming uses chemicals to control weeds and pests, diseases, regulate animal growth and fertilise land. Food production results in land exhaustion, runoff to rivers, salinity, erosion, poisoning wildlife and animal slurry, and contaminated foods. Transporting food affects fuel consumption and emissions. Organic farming aims to maintain or improve fertility and level of organic matter in soil, it’s the alternative to using synthetic chemicals

    6. Impact on Economy Food production is the largest manufacturing industry in Australia. It’s also the largest employer. Large growth of catering and food service is due to tourism. 90% of ingredients used by AFI are grown/produced in Australia. Exporting food contributes to economy

    7. Impact on Society Food production is impacted by changing lifestyles – multicultural population, busy lifestyle, work shifts, mobile population. Evolution of food production has influenced people lifestyles. The time shopping in supermarkets and the money spent on food. Food production has also affected eating patterns of Australian, i.e. introduction of capsicum, wine, yoghurt. Today we have a huge variety of foods to choose from but have the responsibility of making healthy choices.

    8. Career Opportunities and working conditions More technology (machines and computer employment) means less manual labour. Employment may be in advertising, marketing, baristas, food service, take away, shift work, and casual work. Food technologists are involved with R&D, lab testing, technical services, quality control, HACCP supervision, etc. Working conditions vary on the nature of the business and occupation, e.g. butchers in cold conditions, food businesses with hygiene regulations and equipment. Policy and Legislation

    Policies express outcomes or aims that the government wish to achieve, and strategies on how to achieve them. Policies involve:

    " Health and nutrition " Safety " Trade " Environment " Competition

    Food nutrition policies are high on the government priority list due to ‘obesity epidemic’.

  • Legislation refers to laws passed by the government to specify what can or cannot be done without prosecution. Legislation aims to achieve government policy. Food laws aim to unify all states, without national food laws there would be many complications in food production (i.e. some products may be more nutritious in NSW than QLD)

    When new issues occur, the government must ensure that rules and laws emerge to protect Australians (i.e. GM foods). Food industry legislation is administered on 3 levels:

    ! Federal – includes HACCP, FSANZ, AQIS ! State – includes OH&S, NSW food act ! Local – includes food surveillance/health inspectors Governments are advised by independent organizations on the development of policies and

    legislation. Advisory groups can be in the form of: " Business groups within a sector e.g. Australia Dairy Corporation. " A group that advises on specific health issues e.g. National Heart Foundation. " An independent body able to make/change laws relating to food e.g. FSANZ " A group that protects local food supply against contamination. E.g. AQIS

    FSANZ – Food standards Australia New Zealand

    ! Set up in 1991 – had the task of standardizing many food laws ! An independent legislative body – able to make legislations free from political influence

    o Provides the food management framework o Updates and enforces the Australian Food Standards Code o Develops codes of practice for the food industry, i.e. codes for nutritional information o Coordinates food product recalls o Coordinates surveillance of food available in Aust

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