Infrastructure, transport and training have been identified as vital supports to North East food and grocery manufacturing, which generated $2.15 billion in economic output last year.
In 2018 the sector accounted for 3133 jobs in the electorate of Indi, according to figures released on Monday by the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
The eighth largest employer in the region, the industry's wages and salaries contributed $251 million into the electorate annually, an average of $80,115 for every worker.
Manufacturers such as Mars Petcare, Beechworth Honey, GrainCorp and Campbell's met with council chief executive Tanya Barden and Indi MP Helen Haines in Wodonga on Monday
Ms Barden said the companies showed commitment to the industry and their communities, but did face some enormous challenges.
"We've seen big cost increases coming through as a result of the drought, energy prices, increasing insurance premiums, increased import costs as a result of devaluation of the dollar," she said.
"We'll continue to engage the government on how to strengthen the industry."
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Dr Haines said ensuring adequate infrastructure and transport in regional towns would help food and grocery manufacturing to thrive.
"(Make sure) we've got the skills and training facility, so that workers of tomorrow can be trained and also have capacity for ongoing professional training and development of our existing workforce," she said.
"These jobs are transforming. I think it's really good to focus on what are the new jobs ... and how can we position ourselves to make sure we have the skills and the capacity to fill those jobs with local people."
The MP noted the North East's capacity to grow, manufacture and export food and grocery products.
"There's a large proportion of the manufactured goods in the food industry that are exported around the world and that's a great news story for our region," she said.
Ms Barden said she had been surprised by the industry's impact on northern Victoria overall, with the research indicating $9.23 billion output a year and a workforce of 14,221 people.
"We've got some great agricultural production areas in Victoria, great links down into the port of Melbourne, we should be able to harness free trade agreements with governments and be able to export our great produce out into the world," she said.