AUSTRALIA – An industry-led food manufacturing hub in Australia is set to boost the country’s drink production for both the local and export markets.
The first phase of the US$84 million manufacturing hub known as Turbine is set to start in earnest after receiving significant funding from both government and industry sources.
Headed by Australian industry body Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN), Turbine is based on a unique collaboration model that brings in different stakeholders along the F&B manufacturing value chain.
Everyone from R&D to waste stream upcycling to distribution to the actual manufacturing is included in the project, reveals FAN CEO Emma Greenhatch.
“This model was one of the key factors that helped us win the funding from the federal government, as they felt that it is a good blueprint that can be applied in multiple manufacturing settings if it works here,” Greenhatch added.
The first phase of the precinct will be focused on beverage manufacturing across both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories, with plans for food product manufacturing to come a few more years down the line at a later stage.
“Stage One will see anchor tenants such as the Queensland Drinks Accelerator, Lyre’s and Dohler from the industry moving in to kick things off for beverage manufacturing,” Greenhatch revealed.
“We’re also having the University of Sunshine Coast as a tenant to support R&D capabilities, with things such as seaweed research breakthroughs as a potential unique new ingredient for beverages.”
The launch of Turbine adds co-manufacturing capabilities in Queensland, enabling small firms to easily and affordably scale up their production.
Through this collaboration, Turbine also has a strong focus on building a circular economy in line with the nation’s sustainability goals.
“The concept of shared infrastructure in and of itself is a sustainable move that will maximise capacity and minimize input,” Greenhatch added.
“Companies will also be able to benefit from the co-working spaces and environment we are planning to build, alongside the advanced manufacturing knowledge that will be embedded into the precinct.”
The new manufacturing hub is also expected to boost Australia’s drinks export given its strategic location within the Sunshine Coast Airport in Queensland.
Greenhatch reveals that about 50% of the products at Turbine will actually be produced for the export market. The products will have export accreditation so that they can able to be exported directly from the precinct.
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