Food and Agriculture

Global food and agricultural security demands that we produce more with less land, water, and other inputs. The challenge for world agriculture is to cater to the needs of a world population growing from seven billion to more than nine billion by 2050.
agricultural sprinkler system
More globally connected and aspirational economies and increasing financial and lifestyle expectations are placing added pressure on the world's limited resources. A changing demography, including an ageing population, driving increased protein demand, with a shrinking resource base in terms of arable land and fresh water, is increasingly challenging the food and agribusiness sectors.
Global food and agricultural security demands that we produce more with less land, water, and other inputs. The challenge for world agriculture is to cater to the needs of a world population growing from seven billion to more than nine billion by 2050.

Through our connected global network of talented professionals who have a depth of experience in water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation, GHD offers clients integrated agri-food solutions. We partner with our clients to understand their challenges and apply imaginative thinking to solve issues and deliver outcomes which have lasting community benefit.

We offer our agri-food clients integrated services including:

  • Agricultural production and economics
  • Energy
  • Irrigation
  • Plant design
  • Supply chain logistics
  • Water and wastewater systems

We work across multiple sectors including:

  • Aquaculture
  • Baking
  • Brewing and beverages
  • Food processing
  • Forestry
  • Grain
  • Horticulture
  • Sugar

Food and agribusiness services:


Human life as we know it today is sustained and enhanced by the practice of agriculture - the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fibre, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products.

GHD offers a unique blend of knowledge and practical experience of agricultural and farming systems, commodities and markets, natural resources management, economics and policy, water and biodiversity. Our integrated approach to agribusiness solutions encompasses the entire supply chain.

Key areas that we focus on include:

  • Agricultural and natural resource economics - Rigorous economic analysis to support policy formulation and decision-making is a fundamental requirement of our clients. We are proficient in a range of techniques; including triple bottom line cost benefit analysis, economic impact analysis, financial analysis and socio-economic assessments.
  • Agricultural impact assessments - Our team provides strategic planning and land use services to identify and assess the potential impacts of development and infrastructure on agriculture.
  • Strategic planning and reviews - Our team has extensive experience completing large scale and complex reviews, including performance reviews and project / program appraisals for agricultural industry bodies.
  • Feasibility studies - We have extensive experience in evaluating and comparing the economic and financial feasibility of agricultural developments, including processing plants, irrigation developments and production expansion.
  • Farm management - We provide comprehensive services in irrigation management, agricultural production, environmental monitoring and reporting, pest and weed management, and native flora and fauna management.
  • Facility planning and design - Whether for a new facility, an expansion of present operations, or an upgrade to meet environmental regulations, we offer expertise in facility design to leverage operations.
  • Regulatory and compliance monitoring - Our team provides comprehensive services for the design, construction and operation of cost-effective manure and wastewater storage and treatment facilities.
Food processing

Excellence in manufacturing and process design, unrivalled hygiene standards and a focus on ecologically and economically sustainable operation are essential elements for success in the food industry.

Community expectations and government regulations demand that the highest standards are set and maintained in the handling and production of food. Stakeholders in this industry are constantly under scrutiny and face complex challenges to meet these expectations. GHD offers considered solutions for the baking, dairy, beverage, confectionary and snack foods, seafood, fruit and vegetable, meat, seafood, cold chain, FMCG, pharmaceutical, biotechnical markets and beyond.

Key areas that we focus on include:

  • Industrial water and waste management - Our experienced team assesses and manages water and waste in industrial applications. We understand the increasing need to improve process and waste management, to develop site-specific solutions that are practical.
  • Irrigation and the environment - Our engineers, scientists and planners can provide sustainable, cost-effective and innovative irrigation solutions that meet the needs of communities, industry and national policy and strategy. We also understand the impact that developments have on ecosystems, creating measures that mitigate environmental effects on land and water.
  • Transportation infrastructure - We understand that transport needs are inherently linked to land use; the two cannot be understood in isolation. Our integrated team offers advice and solutions related to the entire system, rather than one item in isolation. Our thinking incorporates an understanding of economic and financial factors impacting on efficient freight movement, such as road versus rail freight options.
  • Planning - Enhanced community and government expectations mean that land use planning systems are becoming increasingly complex. We work with clients to realise more sophisticated planning responses, which result in more effective land use and development outcomes.
  • Food processing and manufacturing - Leveraging our considerable experience in the design and operation of a wide range of food industries, GHD provides comprehensive services ranging from planning, design and project management of new facilities, to the engineering of new and expanded plant and equipment.
  • Building design - Our services cover all areas of building design including geotechnical, structural, architectural, and building services. We see geotechnical engineering as a science - the art of determining the properties of an unseen and variable material to produce structures that are safe, reliable and cost-effective. Our structural engineers technically assess, plan and deliver highly functional, cost-efficient and elegant structures for our clients across all industries.
Forestry management

Community expectations demand that our forests and woodlands are managed in a sustainable manner.

Forest managers must demonstrate environmental, social and economic performance, and forest owners and custodians (including governments) expect that the health of these ecosystems are maintained or enhanced. Financiers need assurance that their commercial forestry investments will deliver economic returns, while meeting environmental objectives and maintaining stakeholder confidence.

Forest managers face a complex web of demands in meeting stakeholder, community and industry expectations and continuing to supply forest benefits like wood and non-wood products (such as honey, oils, seeds and pharmaceuticals), carbon sinks, biodiversity conservation, salinity and erosion control, high water quality and recreation spaces.

GHD's network of globally-connected professionals combine technical capacity in forestry, ecology and natural resources with engineering, planning, management and consultancy, to provide a complete package of solutions.

Our team works with clients at all stages of project delivery - from planning and project management, through the development of vegetation and forest management plans and systems, to auditing and reporting.

Our team offers a unique blend of knowledge and practical experience across a broad spectrum of forest, conservation and land management roles.

Key areas of focus include:

  • Plantation and native forest management
  • Forest operations project management services
  • Fire management planning and bushfire risk analysis
  • Independent forester services
  • Forest auditing, certification and due diligence assessment
  • Environmental management systems
  • Carbon sequestration feasibility and establishment
  • Forest, natural resources and conservation policy
  • Forest ecology, bio-banking and offsetting
  • Vegetation and site rehabilitation management plans
  • Biosecurity, pests, weeds and disease management