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Multinational food company Kraft Foods has opened stage one of its Asia Pacific Confectionery Centre of Excellence.
The Asia-Pacific Confectionery Centre for Excellence is expected be a world-class globally competitive research facility located at Kraft’s manufacturing site 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 R&D centre will expand Kraft’s market from 20 million Australian consumers to a market of 1.6 billion consumers across the Asia-Pacific. The centre will also accelerate the development of high quality, innovative food products to Asia.
The Asia-Pacific Confectionery Centre for Excellence is expected to 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. It is hoped that the centre will play a role in attracting, developing and retaining talent in food innovation and manufacturing, also creating an environment to attract further investment around this regional hub. The centre is expected to partner with supply chain partners and other small to medium enterprises (SME) to develop manufacturing capabilities.
Australia-New Zealand president of Kraft Foods Limited Rebecca Dee-Bradbury said the centre 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,” Ms Dee-Bradbury said. “We’ll have more than 100 food scientists, technologists, and graduates – all food innovators looking at both Australian and Asian markets.
“The benefits extend beyond Kraft Foods. We are creating an open innovation centre that will connect with food SME across Victoria to build capability across the industry.
“We will be developing our next generation of food innovators with local universities and working with CSIRO on problems too big to solve alone.
“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,” 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.