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Archive for July, 2012

SPC Ardmona and Fonterra announce major manufacturing investment in Goulburn Valley

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

SPCA ladies sm

Significant investments being made at two major Goulburn Valley businesses means more jobs and a boost in confidence for the district.
Fruit manufacturer SPC Ardmona announced a $90million investment program at its Shepparton and Mooroopna sites, to be phased in over four years.

Fonterra Australia announced a $6.5million upgrade to cheese making equipment at its Stanhope factory.

SPC Ardmona’s investment program included Victorian Government grants of $3.9million, from the sustainable process development project, and $500,000 for new product development initiatives.

The funding will enable the company to introduce new food manufacturing technology at its Shepparton plant and turn the Mooroopna site into a new centre of innovation and technology.

The program is expected to create 45 new skilled jobs, indicating a positive future when compared against last year’s SPC announcement of 153 job losses and a future warehouse-only role for the Mooroopna site.

Fonterra Australia’s Stanhope site manager Brett Nilon said the site’s new Cheddarmaster cheese maker would mean more team members will be required in cheese production during peak times.
See the full story on the MMG website here.

AgriFood 2012 National Conference registrations are now open

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

agrifood logo

Hosted by AgriFood Skills Australia, this year’s conference will be on held on Thursday 20 September 2012 at the Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney. The conference dinner will be held the preceding evening Wednesday 19 September at the conference venue.

Themed Disruption or evolution the program will feature high-profile speakers and panellists discussing industry issues around structural change currently taking place in the agrifood industry.

Key note speakers and panellists include The Hon Tim Fischer AC, Barry Irvin, CEO Bega Cheese Ltd, and Phillip Adams. Additional speakers will be confirmed in the near future. Additions to the conference program will be published here.

Registrations are now open through a secure online site, where payment can be made securely by credit card. Click here to register.

tim fischer Conference registrations will close 5:00 PM Friday 14 September 2012.
philip adams

Give your feedback to National Food Plan

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

From the Australian Food News website, 17 July,

The Australian Government today released its National Food Plan green paper.  The aim is to develop Australia’s first national food plan to integrate all aspects of Government food policy and communication of its strategic direction.

Australia’s Agriculture Minister Senator Joe Ludwig said he expected to receive feedback from around Australia including groups such as farmers, consumers and supermarket groups.  “It’s quite diverse and that’s why I wanted to bring together the food plan into a green paper to have that conversation,” he said.

The green paper acknowledges the relationship between supermarkets and suppliers raises concerns for stakeholders.  “Supermarkets are where most Australians buy their food and we need to ensure a fair trading environment for suppliers while keeping prices low for families,” Senator Ludwig said.

See whole article here and link to Paper and Feedback information.

Australian food surges to boost record $313 bil exports

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Australia on globeFrom the Australian Food News website, 16 July 2012,

Australia’s total goods and services exports soared 10.2% in 2011 to AU$313.3 billion – the first time exports have reached over AU$300 billion during any 12 month period, according to ‘Composition of Trade, Australia 2011‘ statistics, released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recently.

The report shows that wheat, beef, other meats, and alcohol were in the top 25 export categories. Wheat, at number  8, had rose by 16.9%  during the five-year trend. Beef, at number 11, had lost 1.1% of its growth during this same five-year period. Meats export, at number 22, rose by 2.8% in the five-year period. Exports of Alcoholic beverages, however, had declined 7.5%  in the same five years.

In 2011, after the major categories of wheat, beef, other meats, and alcohol, barley was the next most valuable food export from Australia, earning AU $1,378 million. Milk, cream, whey and yoghurt, was valued at AU$1,210.4 million, while vegetable exports earned  AU$958.5 million, and cheese and curds  AU$754.2 million.

Read the whole story here.

Vic training Awards Finalists announced – Young Baker in running for Best Apprentice

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

John Leontiades competition 1From the Victoria Education Department website:

Victorian Apprentice of the Year Award

Michael Bruns
Course: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training provider: Box Hill Institute
Employer: Stowe Australia

Victoria Caskie
Course: Certificate III Engineering – Mechanical
Training provider: Chisholm Institute of TAFE
Employer: Australian Industry Group Training Services

John Leontiades (pictured on right competing in the national LA Judge Competition which he won for Victoria in May 2012)
Course: Certificate III in Food Processing (Retail Baking) combined
Training provider: South West Institute of TAFE
Employer: Louttit Bay Bakery, Lorne

Sevag Parseghian
Course: Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology: Automotive Mechanical Light Vehicle
Training provider: Kangan Institute
Employer: WPC Group Ltd
HOST Employer: Mercedes Benz

See full list of 2012 Finalists here.

Australian red meat industry launches ‘green’ campaign

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

meatFrom the Australian Food News website, 4 July 2012:

Meat and Livestock Australia has launched a campaign designed to showcase the red meat industry’s environmental credentials.

‘Target 100’ is based on 100 environmentally related initiatives the industry is undertaking to ensure its cattle, sheep and goat production systems are sustainable. The aim of the campaign is for the Australian red meat supply chain to be entirely sustainable by 2020.

The 100 initiatives include research, development and extension programs, sharing of ideas, and use of cutting-edge technology. Initiatives have been divided into the categories of Water, Energy, Social, Climate Variability, Waste, Pests and Weeds, Economic, Ethical Farming, Soil and Groundcover, Biodiversity, and Emissions

See full story on the AFN website.

New website helps veg farmers improve sustainability

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

vegiesOn the Australian Food News website, 9 July 2012,

Australia’s national peak industry body for vegetable producers, Ausveg, has launched a new website that will help growers to monitor the environmental impact of their operations.

“Our new website will collect data from the self assessments and present detailed results showing how participating growers are performing at the national and State levels, or even by crop type and farm size,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

Individual growers will have the opportunity to compare their annual score against averages presented on the website. Mr Brooke-Barnett hoped this would encourage growers to put plans in place to improve their environmental performance.

Currently, 300 growers, who collectively farm 50,000 ha of vegetable growing land, are participating in the Enviroveg program.

Click here to read full story on AFN website.

2012 ‘Environmental Scan’ launched by AgriFood Skills Australia

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logoAgriFood Skills Australia launched the 2012 Environmental Scan Disruption or evolution on Tuesday 19 June at The Lobby Restaurant, Canberra.

The fifth Environmental Scan highlights the vital importance of industry and government coordination and leadership to tackle the challenges of workforce and skills shortages in the agrifood industry and regional Australia.

Consultation for the 2012 Environmental Scan highlighted industry’s four priority skills and workforce development challenges, which have taken on a new sense of urgency (see Fig 6, p. 22 of Scan):

  • Attraction of new workers
  • Adoption of higher skill levels across the workforce
  • Diffusion of new research findings, innovative practice and technology
  • Retention and skills utilisation of existing workers

To download a copy of the 2012 Environmental Scan please click here.

2012 AgriFood Skills International Fellowship applications now open – close 6 August

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

agrifood logothat's amore cheese

AgriFood Skills Australia and International Specialised Skills Institute Inc. are offering two international Fellowships of $10,000 each.

These fellowships aim to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice in the agrifood industry.

Two Fellowships are available, with applications open to all people Australia-wide in the sectors covered by AgriFood. Successful applicants will be announced on Wednesday 19 September at the AgriFood Skills Australia National Conference.

Applications close 6 August.

Click here for details. Their website also has information on previous winners.


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