Australian government assistance for Australian food and drink exporters

To support businesses in Australia that currently or plan to export, the Australian government offers a variety of different services / grants. This article highlights the major export assistance available for food and drink exporters in Australia.

According to recent ABS statistics, Australia annual exports are approximately AUD $476,212M (12 months July 19) worth of goods and services. Mining (non-rural goods) was the largest exporter with annual total exports of approx. AUD $310,185M (12 months July 19). The annual total exports for rural goods (including food products) was AUD $47,634M (12 months July 19).

Australian Government


The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) can provide assistance to Australian exporters. The assistance can be tailored to your business request. The assistance is usually:

  • General information and advice on exporting
  • Tailored services including market or country research. There is normally a fee for this service.
  • Referrals to specialist service providers


The Australian Federal Government, via Austrade, provides grants to Australian exporters. The grants are called ‘Export Market Development Grants (EMDG).’

These grants could allow exporters to claim up to 50% of their promotional expenses. Eligibility criteria includes:

“reimbursements up to 50% of promotional expenses to a maximum of $150,000. Promotional expenses incurred must be at least $15,000”.

Some of the activities these grants may reimburse for exporters include:

Overseas representation, marketing consultant, free samples, trade fairs, seminars, in-store promotions, promotional literature and advertising, overseas buyers expenses and registration and / or insurance of eligible intellectual property.

Like most Australian government schemes the money is only available to eligible businesses. A link to EMDG Eligibility Checklist.

Export Finance

Another service the Australian government offers exporters is Export Finance Australia. Export Finance Australia is an Export Credit Agency (ECA). This organisation offers loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance options to assist exporters.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

DFAT can help Australian exporters by providing information about free trade and other trade agreements with other countries.

Export Council of Australia

The Export Council of Australia is a member-based organisation. This organisation provides resources, such as educational programs, to build the capacity and capability of exporters. Other resources available include news and networking opportunities. There are annual membership fees for this organisation.

State Governments

Most of the assistance for Australian exporters is provided by the Australian government. State governments do work with the Australian government to provide assistance to exporters. A list of useful links, to help find state government export assistance programs, is at the end of this article. A quick overview of the programs follows.


Tradestart is part of Austrade. The Tradestart network enables Austrade to work with State, Territory and local governments, plus industry associations and chambers of commerce. It offers exporters the combined resources of Austrade and the partner organisation. Tradestart is then able to provide local assistance and a direct link to Austrade’s services and overseas network.


Global connect is a single program interface for the various export and trade initiatives supported by the ACT government.


NSW provides advice to current and potential exporters via seminars, workshops and events.

Northern Territory

NT has the Trade Support Scheme to help SMEs. The scheme can provide for up to 50% of the cost of approved activities. The scheme may co-fund marketing related expenditures such as marketing plans, promotional material, web design and training.


Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) provides information and advice to help QLD companies export.


SA government provides assistance and services to SA companies that export. Some of the services available include market intelligence, in-market support and direct financial assistance.


Accelerating Trade Grant Program assists exporters with market research, business matching services, promotional activities and materials, attendance at domestic and international trade shows and events. Grant is up to 50% of approved expenses and is capped at $10,000 per year per applicant.


VIC government provides a variety of different grants for specific industries / opportunities.


The WA government operate trade and investment offices around the world. These offices can provide assistance such as market analysis, contacts and introductions and marketing advice.

Industry Groups

Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL)

FIAL is an industry led, not for profit organisation. The organisation focuses on growing sales of Australian food throughout the world. FIAL achieves this goal by sharing knowledge, building capability and creating connections.

Useful links

Australian government grants and assistance tool. Site to search for any grants or assistance your business may be entitled to.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission i.e. Austrade.

Export Market Development Grants (EMDG).

Export Finance Australia – offer loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance options for Australian exporters.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Export Council of Australia – offer training courses, news and networking opportunities for Australian exporters. – useful link to overview of different state government assistance programs.

State Governments










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