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New Victorian career and training info portal launched: Victorian Skills Gateway

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


Victorian Skills Gateway

From the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, the Hon Peter Hall, media release 2 December 2012:

Students can now match their career dreams to the right training thanks to a new website launched today.

Skills Minister Peter Hall said the Victorian Skills Gateway took the hassle out of searching for the right course.

Gone are the days of hours spent searching through the websites of individual training providers,” Mr Hall said.

This makes it easy. Select a career, click the mouse, and all training options available in Victoria for that job are laid out.

“Whether it’s school leavers, or those looking for a job change, this website will prove to be a useful tool.

Victorians looking for work can see which skills are most in demand, maximising their chance of employment,” Mr Hall said
“You can scroll through the list, read about job prospects, look at case studies and then get information on the courses needed.

See full media release here

2013 AGDA winners – Tasmanian Heritage St Claire best in show

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012


From Dairy Australia’s e-news and website 27 November 2012:

Tasmanian cheese the grand champion

The ‘best of the best’ in Australian dairy foods have been announced at Dairy Australia’s 2013 Australian Grand Dairy Awards (AGDA).
Selected from 399 entries, the Grand Champion Cheese was Tasmanian Heritage St Claire, Lion Dairy & Drinks (T) and the Grand Champion Dairy Product was Bulla Premium Sour Cream, Bulla Dairy Foods (V). (see below many other Victorian champions…..)

Other category winners were: Champion Fresh Unripened Cheese – Cuore Blu Burrata, That’s Amore Cheese (V); Champion White Mould Cheese – Old Telegraph Road Brie, Jindi Cheese (V); Champion Semi-Hard and Eye Cheese – Tasmanian Heritage St Claire, Lion Dairy & Drinks (T); Champion Cheddar-Style Cheese – Pyengana Cheddar, Pyengana Dairy (T); Champion Hard Cheese – Mil Lel Superior Parmesan, Lion Dairy & Drinks (Simpson, V); Champion Blue Cheese – Old Telegraph Road Heritage Blue, Jindi Cheese (V); Champion Washed Rind Cheese – Jindi Reserve Washed Rind, Jindi Cheese (V); Champion Flavoured Cheese – Mil Lel Superior Pepato, Lion Dairy & Drinks (Simpson, V); Champion Goat’s or Sheep’s Milk Cheese – Red Hill Mountain Goat Blue, Red Hill Cheese (V);

Champion Natural Yogurt – Jalna Greek Natural Yoghourt, Jalna Dairy Foods (Vic); Champion Flavoured Yogurt – Brancourts Premium Dessert Mango Yoghurt, Brancourts (NSW); Champion Ice Cream – Dooley’s Licorice Ice Cream, Dooley’s Ice Cream (Vic); Champion Dairy Gelato – Cow and the Moon Pistachio Gelato, Cow and the Moon (NSW); Champion Dairy Dessert – King Island Dairy Belgian Chocolate Créme Dessert, Lion Dairy & Drinks (King Island, T);

Champion Milk – Sungold Jersey Milk, Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (V); Champion Specialty White Dairy Drink – Norco Hi Lo, Norco Foods (Labrador, Q); Champion Flavoured Dairy Drink – Oak Egg Nog, Parmalat (Clarence Gardens, SA); Champion Cream – Bulla Premium Sour Cream, Bulla Dairy Foods (V); Champion Butter or Butter Blend – Western Star Original Butter, Fonterra Brands (Aust) (V); Champion Dairy Dip – Paradise Beach Pesto Swirl Dip, Paradise Beach Purveyors (NSW).

See website here

Full- fat milk and cheese cut risk by 60 percent

Friday, November 30th, 2012

milkFrom the Dairy Australia website, 29 November 2012

Australian-first research has shown regular-fat dairy foods such as milk and cheese are not the heart health villains they were once thought to be. A 10-year study of 1800 people found those eating two serves1 a day of regular-fat dairy food more than halved their risk of developing the health-threatening metabolic syndrome.

Researchers from the University of Wollongong and the University of Sydney examined the long-term link between consuming dairy foods and a clustering of conditions that increase risk of heart disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes, called the metabolic syndrome.

The independent research just published in the Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases followed adult Australians (aged 49 years and above) from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Researchers looked at the participants’ intake of dairy foods and likelihood of developing the metabolic syndrome over the next 10 years.

The researchers found that the risk of developing metabolic syndrome was approximately 60% lower in participants who had two serves of regular-fat dairy foods each day, compared with those who consumed less than one serve.

The same pattern was not found with low or reduced-fat dairy. Associate Professor Vicki Flood, one of the lead researchers, said the results of this Australian study are consistent with some global findings that having a higher intake of regular-fat dairy foods helps protect against metabolic syndrome. “Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt, naturally contain a unique package of more than 10 essential nutrients such as high-quality protein, calcium and potassium,” she said.

“With 73% of female and 58% of male adults not consuming the minimum recommended intake of dairy each day, it is more important that Australians get the health benefits of eating enough dairy foods rather than being hung up on the fat content.” The research was part-funded by Dairy Australia but fully independent in line with research protocols.

See full news release here for references and contacts.

Nestlé expands manufacturing capabilities in Australia

Friday, October 26th, 2012

tongalaFrom Foodmag, 26 October 2012:

The world’s largest food and beverage business Nestlé has invested $17 million in a new liquid manufacturing site in Australia’s Tongala factory located in Victoria’s north-east for Nestlé’s Health Sciences business.

The newly constructed manufacturing facility opened yesterday will serve as a manufacturing hub for Oceania, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

The factory will manufacture a range of ready to drink liquid supplements such as Resource, Isosource, Sustagen and tube feeding solutions for people who have been hospitalised and who are unable to consume normal food. The new investment will create approximately 30 new positions over the next two years.

Full story here.

Calling new graduates and diploma holders – dairy manufacturing scholarships open for 2013

Friday, October 12th, 2012

evapouratorEach year Dairy Australia offers Dairy Manufacturing scholarships to six new graduates and diploma holders who are committed and passionate about the dairy industry. The scholarship provides a generous living allowance and includes 2-3 months training comprising of dairy manufacturing theory and practical sessions at the National Centre for Dairy Education Australia (NCDEA), Werribee and practical training placements at leading dairy manufacturing companies. Interested applicants may apply online through a simple on line application.

2012 Dairy Manufacturing program was very successful based on the fact that a) 83% of the trained graduates secured jobs with dairy food companies within a few months of completing the training b) Average satisfaction score for the program as judged by scholarship graduates was 8.79/10, c) Average satisfaction score judged by sponsoring companies was 7.57/10 and d) 42 promising graduates applied for the scholarships.

See full details on the Dairy Australia website here.

More information
For more information contact Jaclyn Walsh on
03 9694 3812 or email

For more information contact Jaclyn Walsh on

03 9694 3812 or E:

Invitation – How to reduce energy costs project presentations 12 Nov RMIT Bundoora

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Hydrogen Truck-16-Edit-WEB smYou are invited to a morning of presentations on energy reduction projects. Don’t miss this – one of the best partnerships of Industry and Education in Victoria!

8.30am – 12 noon, Monday, 12 November 2012
Building 224, RMIT University West Campus (off Plenty Rd) Bundoora

Featuring company case studies from: Armstrong World Industries, BTI Logistics, Capral, Continental Automotive, Colonial First State, Food Plastics, Nestle, Melbourne Water, Olex, PWB Anchor, William Adams

RSVP to Deb Redmond, NORTH Link, by 9th November 2012 by email to

Telephone 03 9479 3339 for further information.

These RMIT University final-year Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering (Sustainable Energy) students will present energy and emission reduction case studies undertaken this year with sixteen companies. These case studies will provide your organisation with a great opportunity to obtain and discuss new ideas on energy cost cutting and greenhouse gas abatement in the coming emissions trading era.

Consumer survey shows popularity of local produce

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Australia on globe

From the Australian Food News website, 19 Sept 2012:

A recent Roy Morgan survey commissioned by the Australian Made Campaign has shown that Australians still prefer to purchase local produce, with 9 in 10 people stating they purchase Australian made or grown food over cheaper imports.

The online survey of 1200 adults showed that although 90 percent of people prefer Australian produce, not all of them were clear on the term ‘Australian Made.’

Only 1 in 3 people surveyed knew that Australian Made meant that the product had been made here and more than 50 percent of the cost of making the product occurred here. Moreover, 4 in 10 people indicated that they had difficulty identifying if a product was Australian Made.

Australian Made Campaign Chief, Ian Harrison said that Australian’s continued to purchase local produce due to confidence in safety and quality.

Other Australian industries such as furniture, clothing and household appliances have been forced out of the market by cheaper international imports, with less than 50 percent of those surveyed indicating they would opt for the more expensive, Australian Made goods.

See whole story here.

Small Training Provider in food sector wins at Vic Training Awards!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Vic T Awards Mike and Team smCongratulations to Michael Grogan and his team at FGM Consultants in Warragul for taking out the top award for Small Training Provider of the Year at last Friday night’s training awards function.

See all the winners here

This Victorian private training provider began in 1996 and currently has 168 trainees over nine sites. The staff has extensive industry experience and Mike  has been an active participant in MINTRAC, the national training and research body and other industry activities. He is also an active Victorian committee member for ACPET, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training.

Another food sector finalist on the night was John Leontiades, apprentice baker from Louttit Bay Bakery in Lorne. Getting to the final four in the Apprentice of the Year category is an outstanding achievement. We wish him well with further endeavours, and he already has the national LA Judge Competition win on his resume.  Early in the evening John was warmly congratulated on being a finalist, by Andrew O’Hara, the Baking Industry Association of Victoria president and GM at Phillippa’s Bakery.

The VFITB would like to encourage all food processing sector employers and trainers to put forward their staff, training providers, companies, for the 2013 Victorian Training Awards. It is a wonderful way to recognise talent, commitment and innovation by all those involved in training.


Senate Committee Report on Food Processing Out

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Australia on globe

16 August 2012

35 Recommendations and 258 Pages….. covering the labour market; the taxation and regulatory environment; the retail environment; food labelling; biosecurity and food safety; innovation and research; exports and the committee’s conclusion.

Industry visits included:
• Campbell Arnott’s factory, near Shepparton, Victoria;
• SPC Ardmona factory, Shepparton, Victoria;
• Simplot factories, Quoiba and Ulverstone, Tasmania;
• Field Fresh, Forth, Tasmania;
• Vili’s Bakery, Adelaide;
• Haigh’s Chocolates, Adelaide;
• Standom Smallgoods, Adelaide, South Australia;
• Gawler River Cattle Company, Adelaide South Australia;
• Cooper’s Brewery, Adelaide, South Australia;
• Fremantle Octopus Company, Western Australia;
• Geraldton Fishermen’s Co‐operative, Western Australia;
• Kailis Bros, Canning Vale, Western Australia;
• Anchor Foods, Fremantle, Western Australia;
• Canon Foods, Canning Vale, Western Australia; and
• Mrs Mac’s, Morley, Western Australia.

Excerpts below:

1.10 The economic significance of Australia’s broader food industry was emphasised by submitters to the inquiry. Positioning the food manufacturing sector within Australia’s other manufacturing industries, the Australian Food and Grocery Council highlighted the sector’s scale:

Representing 28 per cent of total manufacturing turnover, the sector is comparable in size to the Australian mining sector and is more than four times larger than the automotive sector… The growing and sustainable industry is made up of 38,000 businesses…2

1.11 Similarly, the Australian Made Australian Grown Campaign highlighted the sector’s contribution to job growth:

The manufacturing sector is fundamentally important to the Australian economy, especially in terms of jobs, skills and training opportunities, exports and innovation. It is also critical to the fabric of Australian society because of the multiplier effect of the opportunities it creates and its strategic importance to Australia’s economic and national security. The food processing sector is a major part of that, with particular importance as a regional employer and for food security reasons.3

See the full Report on the Parliament website here

Costco looking to source new deals in the Australian market

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

frais farm spinach

From the Australian Food News website 6 August 2012,

With the opening of another Melbourne store set for late 2013, the retailing giant Costco’s commitment to using local Australian produce will see a demand for additional new suppliers. This is a welcome opportunity for Australian food businesses.

A substantial number of local producers are already benefitting from Costco’s arrival in Australia. For example, Costco’s highly commended beef is a grain-fed premium product coming out of Swift Australia’s Beef City feedlot in Toowoomba, Queensland. Meanwhile Baiada Poultry has been supplying its well-regarded Lilydale free-range chicken and Steggle’s fresh and crumbed poultry lines to Costco from the inception of the first Costco store opening in Melbourne in 2009.

The American supermarket giant has had a major impact in the Australian fresh produce market since opening its first store in Melbourne’s Docklands in 2009. This was followed by Canberra and Sydney stores opening in July 2011.

Frais Farm in East Gippsland is an example of a smaller producer who has developed with great success following big orders from Costco.

Costco has been sourcing breads and speciality baked products from a number of private bakeries, not only from Melbourne, but from regional cities such as Ballarat.

Read article here


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