The Asia-Pacific Center of Excellence in Ringwood, Victoria, will create 63 new jobs and house over 100 food scientists, technologists and graduates.
The Australian minister for manufacturing, David Hodgett, said the opening complimented the Victorian coalition government’s own 'Food to Asia Action Plan' which aimed to increase exports of premium Victorian food, beverage and agricultural products.
“The center will accelerate the development of high quality food products for export to Asia, cementing Melbourne's position as a leading center for food and beverage innovation,” Hodgett said.
Commenting on the center, Mondelēz said: “Food manufacturing is the largest manufacturing sector in Australia and extremely well-placed to capitalise on export markets, particularly our ASEAN neighbors. We have 1.6 billion consumers at our doorstep who value Australian food and Australian brands.”
Australian innovation for Asian growth
The company said it would be working with local institutions like the University of Melbourne as well as the federal agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) to “gain insights to unlock Asian consumer behaviors and market levers; inform innovation in ingredient use, consumer experience and product design and packaging; advance the positioning of Australia as a premium brand; boost expertise in the university and our business, and realise greater exports and commercial rewards”.
In the past Mondelēz has said that the Australian manufacturing industry, in particular the food sector, is well positioned with its educated work force and high safety and quality standards to take advantage of growth seen in Asian markets. However in its white paper titled, 'Unlocking Australia’s Innovation Capacity – Creating a Vibrant Australian Food Manufacturing Hub in the Asian Century' it said so far the country had failed to capitalise on this.
In the paper the company outlined three key points to correct this: Food security, science and technical innovation through the creation of a “globally relevant” innovation center; productivity transformations through the improvement of transport infrastructure and training systems; and finally regulatory streamlining, which it said would reduce complexity and compliance costs.