Thomas Foods International is announcing a $378 million plant-protein project. This will mean South Australia will become a world leader in plant protein under a $378 million investment. More than 8500 full-time jobs will be created and will generate billions of dollars in exports.
Thomas Foods International is one of Australia’s biggest processors and they have teamed up with Australian Plant Proteins and Australian Milling groups to develop three new manufacturing hubs in South Australia. Premier Steven Marshall said the project would create “opportunities for the next generation”, declaring plant-protein exports could soon become one of SA’s biggest industries, surpassing seafood and wine exports. ‘’This could rival seafood, it could rival wine out of South Australia, it is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world at the moment and SA is getting in on the ground floor,” Mr Marshall said on Tuesday morning.
The constructions of two hi-tech manufacturing facilities in regional SA and one in Adelaide’s northern suburbs will begin by the start of next year. Thomas Foods managing director Darren Thomas said the time was right to expand into the plant-based industry, while keeping red meat processing at its “core”. He went on to add that plant based foods market was expanding and that South Australia needed to grab this opportunity early and that this would bring back manufacturing into Australia.
The project will involve a $113m federal grant and state government funding of $65m. The Thomas Foods, Australian Plant Proteins and Australian Milling Group consortium funded the remaining $200m. “It is a major step forward in transforming SA into a plant-based protein manufacturing and export powerhouse,” Senator Birmingham said.
Scott Morrison said the federal government’s strategy of partnering with the private sector helped “leverage billions more in additional investment”. “We are backing in our manufacturing sector to create jobs and grow the economy,” Scott Morrison said. Steven Marshall said the three manufacturing hubs would add more than $500m a year to the state’s economy. ‘’SA 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,” he added.
Reproduced with permission from The Adelaide Daily