Scott Morrison names food manufacturing grants from manufacturing initiative innovation fund

Ice cream, gin, sweet corn and nut flour are some of the products that will be made with $33 million in grants announced by Scott Morrison.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues his week of spruiking funding announcements with $33 million in grants for Australian made food and beverage companies.

Mr Morrison will on Friday announce seven businesses selected for grants under the Commonwealth government’s $1.3b ‘modern manufacturing initiative’ fund, which was announced in October last year.

Among them are Plenty Foods which will receive $9 million to turn Australian nuts into protein flour, and Sullivans Cove Distillery which will get $3.3 million to build a new gin production facility and tourism experience.

Dairy company Bulla will receive $4.5 million for a facility to make new ice cream lines, while Mulgowie Fresh will use $5.1 million to expand its processing capacity in sweet corn and beans, increasing its supplies both domestically and in South East Asia.

Mr Morrison and Industry Minister Angus Taylor named the companies in a statement on Thursday night.

Both men have been in Melbourne this week for what appears to have been some early election campaigning, which has included promising funds for electric vehicle infrastructure, emissions reduction technology start ups and now food manufacturers.

Mr Morrison is yet to call an election, though the latest date a standard election of both Houses of Parliament could be held is May 21, 2022.

In their statement on Thursday, Mr Morrison and Mr Taylor said food and beverage production was the largest manufacturing sector in Australia, employing one in four manufacturing workers and contributing about $22.4 billion to the economy.

The food and beverage manufacturers selected for manufacturing grants are located in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia in a mix of Labor and Coalition-held seats.

“This funding will help some of the most innovative producers leverage technology to increase their production, while meeting growing export demand and creating new local jobs,” Mr Taylor said.

“Not only will this funding help maximise the agricultural advantages we enjoy, but it will also help regional Australia and the supply chains that operate throughout it.

The Morrison government in October last year promised industry a $1.5b strategy, including the $1.3b manufacturing fund, to encourage and intensify local manufacturing in six priority sectors.

These are space, medical products, resources technology and critical minerals processing, food, recycling and clean energy, and defence.

Companies in the space, medical products, resources and now food sectors have so far been identified, accounting for about $133m of the funds.

Grants for businesses working in recycling and clean energy and defence are expected to be announced soon.

Originally published as Food manufacturing companies chosen for $33m innovation grants

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