Mapping Fairfield's Agribusiness Sector

Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA) is well known for its cultural and linguistic diversity - over 51% of people in Fairfield come from countries where English is not their first language, and over 70 different languages, other than English, are spoken at home.

 

 With a population over 210,000 around 16,000 businesses, 58,000 local jobs, and GRP estimated to be $10.15B (2020 NIEIR) Fairfield is gaining attention and new investments in industries including transport and logistics.  These trends mean the LGA is well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities associated with the construction and operation of Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport; and with it, generate potential to tap into new lucrative agribusiness export markets.

 

Interest in locally grown and value-added food produce is on the rise; a global trend expedited in 2020 as a result of COVID so we thought it was time to take a look at Fairfield’s strong industry base and explore the state of its food & beverage manufacturing sector and with a bit of luck uncover new opportunities for exporters and local markets.

In partnership with Fairfield City Council, RDA Sydney commenced a preliminary investigation into the size and scope of the agribusinesses operating in the LGA as well as probing the complex web of Sydney’s food and grocery supply chains. Not an easy undertaking. 

However, buoyed by the success of our previous industry sector analysis, ecosystem mapping and learnings from past projects we adopted a flexible approach commencing with a concentrated focus on the many SME businesses that comprise this essential and highly interdependent sector.

 

Image from Department of Planning Industry and Environment

Our methodology included desktop research, data interrogation, heat map analysis, surveys telephone & in person interviews.  Whilst we are still collating data, our study has revealed the LGA supports a thriving food & beverage sector that is not limited to manufacturing.

 

This is an important sector.  Largely comprised of SMEs that function as manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, the sector also connects and nourishes the LGA’s multicultural community through their business collaborations and strong ties. The SMEs support each other and many local suppliers.

 

A recent conversation with Charlie, the now head of Gato’s Patizzis a proud Maltese family-run business, operating in Carramar since 1973, revealed the extent of this highly efficient business operation and dynamic local supply network.  Like all successful businesses maximising productivity is the name of the game, you don’t sell interstate and maintain contracts with leading companies like QANTAS unless you can create and offer first rate products and service.

Likewise, Vincent the operations manager of Art of Gelato Michelangelo, an Italian owned and managed dessert parlour, told us that the business sources inputs from local suppliers, including Cello Liqueurs, literally up the road, as well as purchasing seasonal fruit locally. The company manufactures and on-sells high quality products through an extensive distribution network and of course provides bespoke in-dining experiences.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, a snapshot of an extensive array of food and beverage companies that operate throughout the LGA - adding value along the supply chain and contributing to the local economy.

The Future

 

Situated in close proximity to major transport hubs and major supermarket fulfillment centres the region is earmarked for growth and ripe to support emerging industries such as logistics, wholesaling, and trade.

Coupled with investment in the nearby Western Parkland City and the Horsley Park Urban Farming Precinct, Fairfield is on course to expand its reputation as a supplier of local food and beverage products and is set to become a first-class recreational destination in the heart of Western Sydney.  And this makes for a very liveable region.

 

As we continue to better understand the complexities that underpin the food and beverage sector in Western Sydney we promise to keep you posted and shout out new opportunities.

In the meantime, if you would like more detail about our projects please contact  julie.mcalpin@rdasydney.org.au

 

 

References:

 

DATA AU

AEC Group Consulting

Id.profile

Fairfield City Economic Profile October 2020

Western Parklands City: Horsley Park Urban Farming Masterplan 2019

Breads of Fairfield City

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