The Ireland-based company with revenues of $11 billion has been lured by the State Government’s industry attraction fund. It will employ an additional 55 people at the site where about 190 are already employed.
The Government did not disclose its incentive to Kerry which came from its $15o million industry attraction fund which was also used to maintain Virgin’s headquarters in Brisbane when it was bought out of administration by Bain.
Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Brisbane base would take the state’s role as a food producer to the next level.
“This facility will allow Kerry’s customers to conduct R&D projects, utilising end-to-end product development facilities including lab testing, sensory, market analysis and manufacturing pilot lines,” he said.
“It will give local suppliers access to more international markets and ensure they benefit from global knowledge in dairy, taste, nutrition, plant protein and fermentation technologies.”
Kerry’s Australia and New Zealand general manager Christine Giuliana said the company would be investing further in jobs and skills.
She said the facility would allow for the commercialisation of new products. It is also expected to significantly reduce the time to market for customers and give them access to global supply chains and expertise.
Kerry’s brands are not well known in Australia but it does also manufacture foods in other customer-branded products.
The announcement coincided with the Food and Grocery Council report that said a shift in federal policies and more incentives would mean the size of Australia’s food and grocery sector would double to $250 billion by 2030, with a resulting 54 per cent increase in employment to 427,000 people
Chief executive Tanya Barden said that if the policy settings were not changed, the sector would either “muddle through” and underperform the broader Australian economy. At worst the sector would face a progressive decline with increased offshoring of production, job losses and increased import penetration.
“Australian food and grocery manufacturing is strong, dynamic and critically important but there are important decisions that need to be made now about the sector’s future,” Barden said.
The AFGC recommended that the Federal Government develop an annual set of policy and regulatory reforms that moved the sector towards its growth ambition of $250 billion by 2030 and ensured any new government policy or regulatory proposals explicitly considered the impact on the sector’s ability to achieve this goal.
The could also recommended that the Government allocate additional funds to a dedicated co-investment grant program within the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, specifically for food and grocery manufacturers, to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies that improve efficiency, innovation and global competitiveness.
It also wanted a co-investment grants program that supported and fast tracks food and grocery manufacturers’ research, development and testing of new sustainable packaging formats, and changes to packaging equipment to facilitate a circular economy.
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