Western Australian agrifood and beverage businesses have received a boost with $7 million available from Round Two of the state government’s Value Add Investment Grants program.
This program is stimulating investment in local food and beverage manufacturing and value adding opportunities, while also building resilience to overcome supply chain vulnerabilities and reduce the reliance on imported and interstate processed products.
Hellers Australia was a Round One grant beneficiary. Through its integration with Canon Foods, it has expanded its value-added butchery and ready-to-eat meals business and consolidated its home base from the east coast to Jandakot.
The company used its grant to increase capacity and capability by purchasing new meat preparation equipment, ovens, chiller and packaging equipment, and upgrade refrigeration and power to create operational efficiencies.
The new facilities are among the best in Australia and, combined with the company’s highly regarded food safety reputation, has helped position Hellers Australia to capture new opportunities nationwide and create 100 local jobs.
“We welcome the creativity of Hellers Australia in using the grant to take the bold step of consolidating its base to WA and strengthening our local industry,” WA Agriculture and Food minister Alannah MacTiernan said.
“Our Value Add Investment Grants program is a powerful initiative to incentivise the diversification and strengthening of our food and beverage supply chains and to expand our state’s food processing and manufacturing capacity.
“It’s also helping WA food and beverage processors and manufacturers to pivot to the increasingly complex demands of today’s highly dynamic operating environment to forge new ways of doing business and capture opportunities.”
The second round of Value Add Investment Grants has two funding streams and will support proposals that improve sustainability, contribute to emissions reduction goals and strengthen resilience in WA’s food supply chain.
The Feasibility stream offers matching grants between $30,000 and $100,000 to help plan and de-risk future capital investment projects.
Individual grants between $250,000 and $750,000 are available under the program’s Capital Investment funding stream to assist recipients to expand, diversify or relocate value adding and processing operations to WA.
In total, 18 WA food and beverage manufacturing and value adding businesses benefitted from the Round One grants, enabling recipients to upgrade and increase capacity, resilience, scalability and productivity.
The WA government has provided $17.6 million to drive food and beverage manufacturing and processing investment across the state in the past three years, which has attracted $152 million in private capital and generated more than 900 new full-time jobs.
For more information and to apply for a Value Add Investment Grant, visit https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/VAIG.
Applications for the Feasibility stream close on 8 June, while Capital Investment applications close on 22 June.