The Coalition government will commit $11 million to build a food value adding manufacturing facility on the Capricorn Coast, if they're re-elected in this upcoming federal election.
The funding will help support Haljent Pty Ltd, trading as Keppel Brand, to construct the $20 million project, which is expected to create up to 85 jobs as well as 35 jobs in its construction phase.
Situated in Yeppoon, the facility will include state-of-the-art processing, refrigeration, and packaging equipment that can perform value adding operations like portioning, battering, breading and coating of beef.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the federal goverment's commitment builds on the previous investments made under the Northern Australia Development Program (NADP).
"Under the NADP, the Coalition government provided funding over $80 million to assist businesses in northern Australia diversify and create jobs," Mr Littleproud said.
"Our contribution to the project, which is worth around $20 million in total, will have a productive capacity of $50 million per annum.
"And what you will get is a lower value product being turned into a high value product - taking an $8 -10 per kilo beef cut representing 5 per cent of the carcass and creating a product to sell for $38 per kg once it leaves the facility."
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said the funding is about scaling up the business.
"The facility will be located near Yeppoon and will build up the region's own Keppel Brand food range plus help launch a new Cattlemen's Beef range," Ms Landry said.
Keppel Brand director Mark Davie said the business is grateful for the Coalition government's election commitment to build the Cattlemen's beef value adding facility.
Mr Davie said the facility will be transformational for the beef industry by increasing convenience market applications for beef products in both domestic and export retail and food service markets.
"We are excited to welcome this commitment from the Coalition Government which will be transformational for our region and the beef industry," Mr Davie said.
"We are truly passionate about providing new applications for beef in domestic and export markets.
"This critical piece of value adding infrastructure in northern Australia will deliver on a vision we had three years ago to move the needle on domestic per capita consumption of beef.
"We want to sell beef into new markets, leverage the Australian beef brand globally and we want to market beef for the superfood it is."
Keppel Brand co-director Kelly Newton said their new to market Cattlemen's Beef brand will focus on increasing the value of lower cost beef cuts.
"After more than 35 years in family business, the new facility will build upon our existing Keppel Brand business into over 14,000 customer outlets Australia-wide," Ms Newton said.
"Most importantly it will create jobs and career pathways in our local community."
In 2020, the Queensland Palaszczuk government committed more than $370,000 in funding to Keppel Brand, providing cutting-edge food processing and packaging equipment to expand their product offering.
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