Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll and Member for Wendouree Sharon Knight visited Ferndale Confectionery to announce a grant from the Labor Government’s Future Industries Manufacturing Program. According to a release by the Victorian state government, this is part of the administration’s drive in helping more Ballarat manufacturers grow their operations, create new jobs and take their products to the world.
Carroll said, “Ballarat has built a proud legacy in manufacturing – and we stand with local businesses and local workers to ensure this sector keeps growing.”
“Thanks to our support, businesses like Ferndale Confectionery are expanding, creating new jobs and taking their high-quality products to the world.”
The $500,000 grant will help the family-owned company begin a major expansion of its business and take on 17 new workers.
The company will be investing $4.5 million to develop a new confectionery manufacturing facility in Ballarat to support product and packaging development.
In a boost for the region, the company will also recruit a food scientist and 16 production personnel, while four employees will transition to other highly skilled roles.
The new facility will use around 1,500 tonnes of Australian sugar and glucose annually, as well as Victorian manufactured packaging and local transport companies for distribution.
The expansion of Ferndale’s confectionery portfolio will reportedly strengthen supply into the food service sector, local retailers and export markets including China.
The $18 million Future Industries Manufacturing Program has helped more than 30 Victorian manufacturers with projects that are expected to create more than 280 jobs.
The Victorian government is supporting future growth in local manufacturing through a new industry statement – Advancing Victorian Manufacturing – A Blueprint for the Future.
The statement is backed by $12 million in new initiatives and will help manufacturers develop new products, improve training and skills, increase competitiveness and support export growth.