Every week, Food & Drink Business editor Kim Berry brings you the latest news in the food and beverage manufacturing sector. This week: Sunfed, Mighty Craft, United Publicans Group, Code of Conduct interim report, Grand Ridge Brewery, Allied Pinnacle, Molasses, and Meat & Livestock Australia.

An impressive number of quality entries across The Hive Awards’ nine categories created a highly competitive line-up for judges to consider the exemplar of excellence and innovation in Australia’s food and beverage manufacturing sector.

When you are launching an industry awards program for the first time, it can be a leap for a potential sponsor to visualise what you can see so clearly in your head. Say hello to the inaugural sponsors of The Hive Awards.

Welcome to The Food & Drink Business Top 100 Food & Drink Companies 2023 report. Compiled in collaboration with IBISWorld, this flagship report ranks by revenue Australia’s biggest players in the food and drink sector. Who made it into the Top 10, which companies rose in the ranks with impressive revenue growth, and which ones fell – it’s a fascinating informative glimpse into Australia’s largest manufacturing sector.

Turbine precinct seeks tenant EOIs

The Sunshine Coast’s Turbine precinct is seeking expressions of interest from potential tenants. There is a total area of up to 9100m2 available for lease for food and beverage production. Tenancies are expected to be available for occupancy from mid-2025.

Food Frontier: Whole-of-government, all-protein-types food plan needed

In a report to state and federal governments, alternative proteins think tank Food Frontier has warned that failing to transform our food system will see Australia miss out on market opportunities as well as fall behind the rest of the world.

NFF roundtables to define Indigenous ag products

The National Farmers’ Federation will host a series of roundtables in April-May to confirm support for the broad characteristics and principles that must be used in defining Indigenous agricultural products.

PM: Clear-eyed, hands on, Future Made

The federal government is in pre-budget mode with prime minister Anthony Albanese announcing a new wave of economic reform under the banner of the Future Made in Australia Act. Thin on detail but heavy on promise, Albanese says it's time for the government to step in and shore up the country for a more competitive global economic reality.

Lactalis: $85m investment, plant consolidation

Lactalis will close its factory in Echuca, Victoria this year as it consolidates operations at its Bendigo site, where much of an $85 million investment will be spent.

Sustainable Coffee Co, Parks Vic brew new range for bush regen

The Sustainable Coffee Company and Parks Victoria have launched Coffee for Nature, a program to create habitat for critically endangered Victorian wildlife. Every kilo of Coffee for Nature sold will fund seed collection, propagation, site preparation, and habitat planting.

CSIRO deputy chief executive appointed

National science agency, CSIRO, has appointed Kirsten Rose to its newly created deputy chief executive position. Rose is currently the executive director of CSIRO's Future Industries and has a history of working at the nexus of industry, government, and research. 

Andrews Meat wagyu takes national crown, breaks marbling record

Premium wagyu brands Shiro Kin Full Blood Wagyu and Tajima Australian Grainfed Wagyu have been recognised for superior quality at the Australian Wagyu Association Wagyu Branded Beef Competition. Shiro Kin broke a competition record for highest marbling percentage.

Top Shelf International sells farm to free up capital

In a move to provide working capital and pay down debt, Top Shelf International (TSI) has signed a $5 million sale and leaseback deal on its Eden Lassie agave farm with a company owned by non executive director, Stephen Grove.

Polly Waffle Bites hit shelves

After a long awaited return to stores, Menz is rolling out its reimagined Polly Waffle, Polly Waffle Bites, which will replace the original bar permanently due to manufacturing complexities.

Packaging News

An agreement struck between Cleanaway and Viva Energy will see the two companies undertake a prefeasibility assessment of a circular solution for soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle plastics.

Industry groups and local manufacturers, including Kimberly-Clark Australia, have voiced approval of the government's Future Made in Australia Act announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, although there's recognition that the plan needs "fleshing out".

PKN’s latest issue for 2024 is hitting desks, which includes our comprehensive review of APPEX 2024, a preview of drupa, and features on Labels, Sustainability, F&B Packaging, and Design.