Coalition boosts food manufacturing through $33m innovation grants

Coalition boosts food manufacturing through $33m innovation grants

Seven Australian-owned food and beverage companies will share in more than $33 million in federal funding to unlock new manufacturing opportunities, boost production, and create more jobs across the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will reveal the new grants for the industry in Melbourne on Friday with the investment designed to boost manufacturing from Kingaroy in Queensland to Hobart in Tasmania.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Sugo restaurant in MalvernCredit:Wayne Taylor

Food and beverage production is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, employing one in four manufacturing workers and contributing around $22.4 billion to our economy.

The funding is part of the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which was designed and launched at the height of the pandemic to help rebuild the troubled sector.

Sabrini Foods, based in Melbourne’s south east will use $1.4 million to become the first local manufacturer to transform Australian dairy products into extended shelf life and frozen paneer, overcoming one of the constraints to export.

Bulla will use $4.5 million for a purpose-built facility to make new ice cream lines such as cones and sandwiches from Australian dairy for sale here and overseas.

Plenty Foods, in Queensland, will use its $9 million in funding to transform Australian nuts into locally-made protein nut flour. Turbine Sunshine Coast will use its $8.7 million in funding to establish an R&D centre and large-scale contract beverage manufacturing facility.

Mulgowie Fresh will use its $5.1 million in funding to expand its processing capability and capacity in sweet corn and beans, increasing its supplies both domestically and in South East Asia. Sullivans Cove Distillery in Tasmania will use its $3.3 million in funding to help build a new state-of-the-art production facility, which doubles as a world-class tourism experience.

Ennio in South Australia will use $1.3 million in funding to develop its world-first patented technology for manufacturing nettings and casings specifically for the global meat and poultry industry.

“More than one million Australians are once again employed in manufacturing and we want businesses to be successful and create even more jobs,” Mr Morrison said.

The modern manufacturing initiative is the centrepiece of the government’s $1.5 billion strategy, designed to position Australia as a globally recognised, high-quality and sustainable manufacturing nation.

Food and beverage is the fourth stream of funding across priority areas identified under the plan, and follows $100 million invested in Space, Medical Products, and Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing announced in July.

Industry Minister Angus Taylor said the grants would bolster the thriving food and beverage sector and unlock further significant investment from the sector.

“Not only will this funding help maximise the agricultural advantages we enjoy, but it will also help regional Australia and the supply chains that operate throughout it.”

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