Page 6 - Food & Drink Business Jan-Feb 2020
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v2food finds home in Vic
New tech platform for SME food businesses
V2FOOD has secured a factory site in Wodonga, Victoria, with the plant-based meat company expecting to invest around $20 million in the facility. The dormant 55,470 square-metre building will be upgraded to a “world-class food-grade” facility, including installation of new equipment and plans to employ around 40-50 local workers.
v2food said it surveyed around 50 locations before confirming the site as it is “critical that v2 can locally produce plant-based meat in order to make the most of Australia’s expertise as one of the leading global meat producers and export an Australian success story across the globe”.
In August, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) told Food & Drink Business that food and grocery processing in northern Victoria was the second largest contributor in terms of output, and the eighth largest employer across the four federal electorates of Mallee, Bendigo, Nicholls and Indi, which includes Wodonga. The region generates $9.23 billion a year and employs 14,221 people.
The Wodonga factory will form part of v2food’s supply chain and will allow local farmers to supply to the plant-based industry with Australian-grown ingredients.
The announcement came only a week after it raised $32 million in its Series A funding round, one of the largest raises in the plant- based meat sector to date. The company is behind Hungry Jack’s Rebel Whopper and officially launched in October, with plans for more product launches in 2020.
SMALL food manufacturers will have better access to commercial kitchen spaces through a new technology platform, Chefs Cluster.
The program allows start-ups and small producers to find and hire short-term cooking space.
Chefs Cluster is the brainchild of three friends and entrepreneurs, Dina Gofman, Inna Kiner and Polina Ross seeking to make the food production journey easier for Australian small businesses.
Gofman said: “There is currently a lack of available cooking spaces for short term and immediate rental for small food businesses.”
She said people wanted a simple, digital way to find a cooking space, but most
licensed commercial kitchen spaces were inside restaurants, pubs, clubs, universities and community spaces and not available for individuals to rent.
“We’re here to solve a real problem that so many smaller food businesses have. And it’s
a win-win for kitchens too, as more people using their space means extra revenue for the kitchen, rather than it sitting there underutilised.”
The platform was about reducing barriers to entering a highly competitive and complex market, Gofman said.
CUB buys craft brewery Balter
THE founders of Balter called it “a massive day” when it announced the craft brewery had been bought by Carlton & United Breweries.
Balter started on the Gold Coast in 2016. Co-founders include Bede Durbidge, Scott Hargrave, Josh Kerr, Stirling Howland, Mick Fanning, Ant Macdonald, Sean Ronan and Joel Parkinson.
In an open letter to its customers, the founders said it had been “a massive day”.
“We’re rapt to say we’ve just finalised a deal to become a part of the Carlton & United Breweries family.” They reassured drinkers the beer would stay the same and Scotty (Scott Hargrave) would remain as head brewer.
Balter CEO and co-founder Ant Macdonald said: “We’re proud to have grown the business to this point and we see the benefits this new partnership will bring as Balter enters its next growth phase.”
He said the deal will help Balter achieve its sustainability goals, upgrade capacity and hospitality at our Gold Coast
L-R: Balter CEO and co-founder Ant Macdonald, co-founder Mick Fanning and CUB CEO Peter Filipovic
brewery and create new jobs. CUB CEO Peter Filipovic said:
“In a few short years Balter has become a craft leader through its commitment to quality and by building a brand that appeals to all beer lovers. We will help manage Balter’s strong growth through our willingness to invest, our world-class beer expertise and our customer relationships. And the terms of the deal mean the Balter team is not changing and management is staying on, which will ensure the business retains its identity and everything else that helped drive its success.
“The deal also means we’re expanding our presence in Queensland, where we already have a significant economic footprint with our Yatala brewery employing more than 250 people.”
CUB bought Riot Wine Co last September and already owns craft breweries 4 Pines and Pirate Life.
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