• A new $12.2 million food and beverage manufacturing centre in Western Australia will be open to all food and beverage businesses that are looking for low-risk environment to scale up production. The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies Centre (SIFT) is based at the Food Innovation Precinct of WA (FIPWA) at Nambeelup.
    A new $12.2 million food and beverage manufacturing centre in Western Australia will be open to all food and beverage businesses that are looking for low-risk environment to scale up production. The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies Centre (SIFT) is based at the Food Innovation Precinct of WA (FIPWA) at Nambeelup.
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A new $12.2 million food and beverage manufacturing centre in Western Australia will be open to all food and beverage businesses that are looking for low-risk environment to scale up production. The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies Centre (SIFT) will offer common use of manufacturing equipment at a subsidised rate.

SIFT is based at the Food Innovation Precinct of WA (FIPWA) at Nambeelup and funded through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

It will be operated by the Future Food Systems Co-operative Research Centre (RRSCRC) and Murdoch University.

The facility is fitted out with the latest in food and beverage manufacturing equipment including a high-pressure processing unit – one of only two in the state – used to cold pasteurise foods. The method helps extend products’ shelf life while preserving natural nutrition and flavour.

Regional Development Minister Don Punch said, “More than a third of our state’s 1500 food and beverage businesses are based in regional Western Australia, so providing access to innovative manufacturing technology will provide a direct benefit to our regional economies and create more job opportunities in the regions.”

Businesses can test, develop, and produce new and improved value-added food products on a commercial scale to determine market demand and source buyers before investing in their own long-term large-scale production and equipment, the government said.

Agriculture and Food Minister, Jackie Jarvis, said, “The SIFT Centre will help remove some financial risk for small businesses owners – allowing them to test and refine products at a commercial scale, without having to invest in their own equipment.

“The SIFT Centre is projected to grow the State’s local value-added industry, create more than 150 direct jobs, and inject around $100 million into the economy.”

To mark the opening of the centre, the government and Shire of Murray funded a $3.8 million Enterprise Support Program.  

It offers grants of up to $600,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis for food and beverage businesses to use FIPWA and commercialise a product, undertake collaborative research and development, or utilise manufacturing equipment, or to access other FIPWA space, facilities, and services.

“FIPWA is providing a state-of-the-art hub for WA’s food and beverage industries to develop new value-added products, and last year I was able to see the success of some of these projects firsthand,” Punch said.

“This includes Spinifex Brewing Co’s canning line which received a $150,000 Regional Economic Development grant in 2021 and is driving an increase in packaged beer sales in domestic and export markets.

“I strongly encourage all interested agri-businesses to access the Enterprise Support Program grants program, which also provides an opportunity to explore new product opportunities and access manufacturing equipment.”

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