A massive ‘shopping list’ of food and beverage from local suppliers confirms the long value chain of cruising as an economic force, Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry told a Friends of Tourism event last night.

Ms Sherry said that in a typical year cruise ships ordered huge quantities of meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables providing a significant part of the $3 billion in total economic activity attributed to cruising in 2012-2013.

Speaking at the event in Brisbane, Ms Sherry said that Carnival Australia, which accounts for most of the cruise ships that sail to or from Australia and around 80 per cent of the Australian cruise industry, had a big network of local suppliers.

“Wherever the ships go, economic opportunity follows. Just about everyone benefits from cruising including hotel operators, restaurants and cafes, visitor attractions, transport operators and taxi drivers,” Ms Sherry said.

“But primary producers are among the major beneficiaries as cruise ships take on board extensive supplies of food and beverage when the ships are replenished. When cruising is viewed from a value added perspective you see rolled gold economic opportunity.”

As Australia’s ‘home brand’ cruise line, P&O Cruises sourced almost 100 per cent of its food and beverage from local suppliers. In a typical year, Australian-sourced P&O purchases included:

  • 465,000kg of beef
  • 589,000kg of poultry
  • 217,000kg of pork
  • 148,000kg of bacon
  • 3.3 million eggs
  • 260,000 bottles of wine (most from Australian wineries)
  • 1.1 million kg of fruit
  • 341,000kg of vegetables
  • 60,000 litres of milk
  • 30,000 litres of cream
  • 200,000 individual yoghurts

Ms Sherry said that between 1999 and 2013, Princess Cruises purchased US$50 million of Australian beef products to supply its locally based ships as well as its worldwide fleet. For more than 20 years, Princess Cruises has exclusively served Australian lamb on all of its ships.

Other Carnival Australia brands, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines, also extensively sourced local supplies for their ships operating in Australian waters.

“It is clear from Carnival Australia’s experience that cruise line purchases are of great benefit to Australian suppliers and this is likely to grow further as the cruise industry continues to expand,” Ms Sherry said.