AUSTRALIA, Canberra. Besides creating new jobs, a AU$113 mill. funding package from the Morrison Government aims to supercharge Australia's place in the global plant-based food value chain.
According to a recent joint press release by Australia's Minister for Finance Simon Birmingham and South Australia's Premier Steven Marshall, South Australia is set to be home to the largest pulse protein ingredient manufacturing capability in Australia.
On Tuesday, the Morrison Government announced support for a project led by Australian Plant Proteins (APP) under the Collaboration Stream of the AU$1.3 bn Modern Manufacturing Initiative to transform local production of pulse protein ingredients and help meet the growing global demand.
APP owns Australia's only commercial-scale pulse protein extraction facility. Accelerated by the project, APP expects to quadruple production in South Australia to 25,000 t of pulse protein yearly.
Partnering with one of Australia's largest family-owned food producers, Thomas Foods International and the Australian Milling Group, AU$378 mill. will be invested in constructing three plant protein manufacturing facilities supplying domestic and international markets. The South Australian Government has also contributed AU$65 mill. to the AU$378 mill. project.
Billions in exports
By supporting locally-based plant-protein ingredient and food manufacturing, the Morrison Government aims to create a new high value-added domestic supply option for pulse growers, which should, in turn, have downstream benefits to local communities.
Birmingham said this investment was a win for jobs, a win for South Australia's pulse farmers, and it would take South Australia's manufacturing capabilities to a whole new level. "It will not only generate thousands of local jobs but has the potential to generate billions in export dollars for our state," claimed the Finance Minister.
"Demand for plant-based foods is booming globally. Just as South Australia leads Australia in renewable energy generation, this investment will put us at the forefront of capitalising on this environmental trend too," Birmingham added.
Premier Steven Marshall said this transformational announcement would create a large-scale plant-based food and beverage value chain for South Australia to unlock an entirely new export industry for the state and the nation.
"South Australia is already world-renowned for our premium food and produce, and we now have a first-mover opportunity to capitalise on the emerging global demand for plant protein-based food," Premier Marshall said.
According to the statement, the project is expected to create up to 1345 construction jobs and 384 new direct manufacturing jobs by 2024 and eventually support more than 8,500 new full-time positions in the supply chain and economy by 2034. It is also expected to generate up to AU$4 bn in exports by 2032, including to the US, south-east Asia and Europe.