Premier Ted Baillieu and Minister for Manufacturing Richard Dalla-Riva have joined Australian-New Zealand President of Kraft Foods Rebecca Dee Bradbury to officially open stage one of Kraft Foods Asia Pacific Confectionery Centre of Excellence.
Mr Baillieu revealed the Asia-Pacific Confectionery Centre for Excellence would be a world-class globally competitive research facility located at Kraft’s manufacturing facility in Ringwood.
“The centre is a significant boost for Victorian food manufacturing innovation and will be staffed by the largest food R and D team in Australia, generating more than 100 new jobs and securing 1,000 jobs at Kraft’s Ringwood manufacturing operation. The Coalition Government is implementing a clear strategy to assist Victoria’s manufacturing industry to grow our markets and trade in the Asia-Pacific,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The Coalition Government’s investment into the Kraft Asia-Pacific Confectionery Centre for Excellence will expand Kraft’s market from 20 million Australian consumers to a market of 1.6 billion consumers across the Asia-Pacific,” Mr Baillieu added.
The Centre is said to accelerate the development of high quality, innovative food products to Asia.
The Asia-Pacific Confectionery Centre for Excellence will reportedly contribute to:
- positioning Victoria as a leading food manufacturing centre in the Asia-Pacific region, with the capacity and capability to supply a global market;
- attracting, developing and retaining talent in food innovation and manufacturing;
- securing Victoria’s position as Australia’s manufacturing and R&D Centre for the food industry and build on its international reputation;
- creating an environment to attract further investment around this regional hub; and
- partnering with supply chain partners and other small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop manufacturing capabilities.
Mr Dalla-Riva reported the investment would ensure that Victoria was the home of the largest and most significant Kraft R&D Centre in the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on chocolate and confectionery innovation.
“The Coalition Government’s International Engagement Strategy and Manufacturing Strategy are delivering assistance to small and medium sized enterprises to deliver high-quality, safe and innovative Victorian food to growing global markets,” Mr Dalla-Riva said.
Australian-New Zealand President of Kraft Foods Limited Rebecca Dee-Bradbury said the project was about investing in the future.
“We are positioning Australia’s largest food R&D facility with one of Australia’s largest food manufacturing plants. We’ll have more than 100 food scientists, technologists, and graduates – all food innovators looking at both Australian and Asian markets, ” Ms Dee-Bradbury said.
“The benefits extend beyond Kraft Foods. We are creating an open innovation centre which will connect with food SMEs across Victoria to build capability across the industry,” she added.
Ms Dee-Bradbury added the company will be developing the next generation of food innovators with local universities and working with CSIRO.
“In doing so, we aim to help create a new generation of Australian food entrepreneurs who will both understand and be able to access the 1.6 billion Asian middle-class consumers at our doorstep. All of this, we would not be able to do without leadership from the Victorian Coalition Government,” Ms Dee-Bradbury said.
Kraft is Victoria’s largest food manufacturer, headquartered in Melbourne, with three manufacturing sites located at Ringwood, Scoresby and Port Melbourne.