Australian food and grocery manufacturers predict their operating profits will fall by an average 4,4% under the federal government’s carbon tax.
The Australian Food and Grocery Council said the tax of AU (R190) per ton will impact the industry’s capacity to employ and innovate.
The council said Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, employing 312 000 people, will see losses in profitability of up to 15,6% for paper products and more than 11% for dairy and meat products. In 2009, the food and grocery manufacturing industry contributed about six million tons of carbon dioxide, just 1% of Australia’s 565 million tons of direct carbon dioxide emissions.
Council chief executive Kate Carnell said although the AU$108 billion (R891 billion) industry supports a price on carbon, the timing of the carbon tax delivers another blow to already stressed Australian manufacturers. “The carbon tax will increase the cost of Australian goods – but will not affect imports,” she said.
The South African government recently mooted a similar carbon tax. – Alan Harman