Agribusiness the backbone of SA economy

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By Melissa Keogh

They help put food on our tables, contribute enormously to the state’s economy and uphold the livelihood of our regions.

South Australian farmers are the lifeblood of our country communities and are big players in the state’s overall economic welfare, with agriculture contributing to 25% of our economy.

Our agricultural researchers and biosecurity workers are equally important to our state’s reputation for being clean, green, pest free and one of the most sustainable food and wine growing regions on the planet.

Throughout October, Brand SA News will bring you success stories and the latest innovations from the state’s agribusiness industry, as part of Brand South Australia’s successful I Choose SA campaign.

We’ll take you inside the dairy industry and why you should be hunting down local dairy labels on your weekly shop, how multi-generational farming businesses have diversified, and how women are leading the way.

Food producers at B.-d Farm Paris Creek in the Adelaide Hills, makers of dairy products including yoghurt, cheese, butter and milk. Photo: PIRSA.

First up, we will deliver an article on Thornby Premium Lamb, a longstanding family-owned farming business with a presence at Sanderston on the outskirts of the Murray Mallee, as well as on Kangaroo Island.

We’ll also hear from Grain Producers SA’s first female boss, Caroline Rhodes, who will talk to the state’s grain industry, one that last year produced an 11 million tonne harvest worth a total farm gate value of $2.2 billion*.

Wheat is our primary grain, with 4500 farms across the state contributing to the grain industry, helping keep us and our livestock fed, and assisting in the manufacturing of a range of everyday products.

We’ll also bring you something a little weird – the world of potato waste.

Potatoes SA plans to tackle food waste by using discarded potato peel and pulp to make premium vodka (which we’re happy to taste test).

Brand South Australia’s I Choose SA for agribusiness ambassadors will also be revealed, and their experiences and industry predications shared.

Our coverage of agribusiness will take you inside some of our regions – our food bowls free from fruit fly and the vine-destroying phylloxera pest.

SA is the only Australian mainland state free from fruit fly and we spend about $5 million a year trying to keep it that way through prevention, detection and eradication measures.

Aside from knowing where our food grows, we’ll also find out where it goes, with China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand among others being some of our largest export markets.

And the wine, let’s not forget the wine. SA’s 3400 grape growers produce yearly crops valued at $658 million.

 

Eighty per cent of Australia’s premium wine comes from SA, proving we definitely know how to make a good drop.

To help kickstart the month of agribusiness exploration, Brand South Australia will host an Industry Briefing on October 9, where guests will learn about key innovations and the range of careers and available pathways.

Guests will hear from Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tim Whetstone, Pork SA chairman Mark McLean and Grain Producers SA CEO Caroline Rhodes.

What: Brand South Australia I Choose SA for Agribusiness Industry Briefing
When: October 9, 4.30–6.30pm.
Where: Adelaide Showground, The Old Ram Shed.
Tickets: From $25–$49

Register for the event here.

*Statistics and industry figures sourced from PIRSA.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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