- Existing Business
The agricultural sector, while small in employment numbers, is economically important given the fertile land and natural attributes of the region. The sector generates large multipliers, with the total value of agricultural production in the Central Highlands region in excess of $993m per year (Invest Victoria, August 2018).
As the geographic and population capital of Western Victoria, Ballarat is an important service centre for the sector with several agriculture machinery manufacturers and resellers based in the city including Goldacres and Southern Spreaders, along with supply chain infrastructure and agribusiness services.
With increased land values, new farming techniques and water supply constraints, we are seeing more boutique sectors including organic grains, Chinese vegetables, viticulture, and berries choosing to set up in this region.
Agricultural resources generate substantial downstream opportunities in the food manufacturing sector, evident by major investment in Ballarat by Mars Wrigley Confectionery, McCain Foods, Hakubaku, and Ferndale. Ballarat also has a growing paddock-to-plate culture, with several boutique producers established in the region including Salt Kitchen Charcuterie, Sher Wagyu, Munash Organics, Mount Prospect Produce, and Inglenook Dairy.
In 2018 Luv-a-Duck announced it would be moving to Ballarat, to a new custom built $20m facility in the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ).
The key opportunities identified for this sector include diversification to less water intensive and high yield crops, vertical farming, development of bioenergy plants in the local area, agri-tourism, and modernisation of food processing.