The McGowan Government has allocated $10.2 million towards projects which will supercharge food and beverage manufacturing and value-adding in Western Australia, and create more than 600 local jobs.
Funding has been awarded to 18 agrifood businesses in metropolitan and regional areas to support capital expansion, relocation or new projects to grow local processing through the Value Add Investment Grants program.
An estimated 609 new jobs are set to be created across a range of industries including horticulture, seafood, beverages, meat and livestock, and premium food products.
The funding is expected to generate more than $132 million in private sector investment through applicants’ matched co-contributions.
Bunbury-based sheepmeat and beef processor V&V Walsh plans to build a state-of-the-art cold store facility to boost production capacity, fulfil demand in Australian and international markets and create an estimated 134 jobs.
The program is part of the $16.7 million Food and Beverage Fund, a four-year initiative supported through the McGowan Government’s WA Recovery Plan to stimulate jobs in food and beverage businesses.
The grants program is delivered through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“Western Australia is renowned for its fresh and diverse produce, however, our agribusiness sector remains largely concentrated by the production of raw commodities, with much of it destined for export markets.
“Although small, our food and beverage manufacturing industry is growing and is job intensive with strong benefits for the broader WA economy.
“The Value Add Investment Grants program will increase skills and competitiveness related to WA’s value-adding production and processing across metropolitan and regional areas.
“Successful recipients include V&V Walsh, who will install a cold store facility to expand their production – creating an estimated 134 local, permanent jobs at their Bunbury plant.
“The program forms part of broader work by the State Government to drive diversification, regional economic growth and employment by supporting new investment in value-adding, food processing and expansion projects.
“As the economy recovers from the challenges of COVID-19, initiatives like these will support local business growth and development that is vital for a strong WA economy and jobs into the future.”