Bad manufacturing news in Australia, but good news on Mars

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st July 2015

factory-613319_640The Australian Industry Group (AI Group), which represents Australia’s major industry groups, says that manufacturing within Australia slumped in the month of June 2015.

Nevertheless, the “food, beverages and tobacco” sector was the leading sector amongst only four industry group sectors that did manage to expand in June. The industry saw  a 0.7 point increase. Food, beverage and tobacco has now been the leading manufacturing sector increaser for 13 months straight.

Australian food and beverage exporters had only a mild increase in manufacturing exports largely based in the sector.

“While the lower dollar continues to support exports, local demand remains generally weak, apart from a few bright spots in food and beverages and housing-related manufactures,” said AI Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

Mr Willox mentioned that a slight increase in the index after the Federal Budget in May 2015 did not last long.

The AI Group has expressed concerns that the manufacturing slump could soon lead to unemployment troubles, especially within regional areas.

Good news on Mars

To illustrate how the food sector continues to buck the trend, Mars Australia opened a new pet food manufacturing plant in Bathurst, New South Wales in mid-June 2015.

Mars Australia says the factory cost $100 million to set up and will produce for brands including Pedigree, Whiskas, Advance, My Dog, Optimum and Dine.

Mars Australia says the factory provides “industry innovation” and best practice manufacturing solutions  and is 12, 000 square metres is expected to employ 150 people. It will be replacing an older factory and the company says it will reduce its energy use by 47 per cent in its new factory. Carbon emissions will also be reduced by 40 per cent and water use by 30 per cent. A ‘zero waste to landfill’ commitment has been made.

Mars worldwide continues to invest in news factories opening a Wrigley factory in Kenya.