February 20, 2024

New $12.2M food and beverage manufacturing center open in Western Australia

A new $12.2 million food and beverage manufacturing center is expected to inject $100 million into Western Australia’s economy.

The Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies (SIFT) Centre, opening Feb. 23, is projected to create more than 150 jobs, according to the state’s government webpage.

The SIFT Centre, located within the Food Innovation Precinct of WA (FIPWA) in the Peel Business Park at Nambeelup, is funded through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and operated by the Future Food Systems Co-operative Research Centre and Murdoch University.

The facility boasts the latest in food and beverage manufacturing equipment, including a high-pressure processing unit — one of only two in Western Australia — used to cold pasteurize foods. The unit will help extend the shelf life of products while preserving natural nutrition and flavor.

The SIFT Centre is open to all WA food and beverage businesses seeking a low-risk environment to scale up production by offering common use of manufacturing equipment at a subsidized rate. 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 long-term, large-scale production and equipment.

To kickstart center operations, Western Australia’s Cook Government is partnering with the Shire of Murray to provide a $3.8 million Enterprise Support Program. The program offers grants of up to $600,000 to food and beverage businesses to use FIPWA to commercialize a product, undertake collaborative research and development, or utilize manufacturing equipment.

“Some iconic food brands have come out of Australia, and the new Sustainable Innovative Food Technologies (SIFT) Centre offers WA’s food and beverage industry an incredible opportunity to develop the next big thing,” 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.”

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