Western Australia's agriculture and food sector

Page last updated: Tuesday, 23 March 2021 - 1:07pm

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Western Australia’s (WA) agriculture and food sector is a world-class producer of high-quality, safe agriculture, food and fibre products, vital to our state’s economy and to feeding the Western Australian community and people in our target export markets.

World-class producer

Our state’s agrifood sector is well placed to offer premium products that are sustainably and ethically produced, of known provenance and exceptional quality.

As well as being the nation’s largest grain-producing region, Western Australia is a significant producer of Australia’s meat and livestock, dairy, wool, horticulture and honey products.

WA is one of the most pest-free and disease-free agricultural production areas in the world. Strict quarantine requirements ensure this status is maintained for the benefit of local producers and consumers around the globe.

This, combined with a focus on innovation, research and development, allows the sector to meet the specific requirements of domestic and overseas customers.

Export focus

The sector places a high value on overseas markets, with agriculture being WA’s second major export industry. Our state exports around 80 per cent of its agricultural production.

In 2016/17, WA exported an estimated $8.5 billion in agriculture and food products. The top three products exported were wheat, canola and barley.

For the past decade, about 70 per cent of the state’s agrifood exports has been destined for Asia, with China, Indonesia and Vietnam some of our largest markets.

With growing demand for premium agrifood products, especially in Asia, WA is in a good position to build on its reputation as a reliable supplier of clean, safe and high-quality food to overseas markets.

Supporting communities

The WA agriculture and food sector continues to be the lifeblood of rural and regional communities.

It is a significant source of employment, with the broader sector providing jobs for 188 400 people in 2016/17.