The processed food industry accounts for about 68 per cent of the total real value of food exports and 20 per cent of the total Australian merchandise real export value. But Australia's real export value of processed food accounts only for about 3 per cent of the total real value of world processed food trade. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impediments to and opportunities for Australian processed food exports on world export markets. The findings of this study reveal that Australia is highly restricted in its access to world processed food markets by the impact of rigid import controls, tariffs and other trade barriers including export subsidies provided by foreign countries for their own exports. High input costs also reduce Australia's competitiveness. Australia needs to give priority to diversification of export markets, particularly in the emerging markets in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East, where reduced tariff barriers are expected to improve market access. Australia also needs to increase productivity, improve cost efficiency and undertake market research and promotion in order to be more competitive in the long run.