$78M expansion and solar boost for Freedom Foods

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JOBS, EXPANSION AND INNOVATION… From left, Freedom Foods Shepparton site general manager, Mick Betson, Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford and Freedom Foods Shepparton group engineering manager, Gary Thomas. Photo: Supplied.
JOBS, EXPANSION AND INNOVATION… From left, Freedom Foods Shepparton site general manager, Mick Betson, Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford and Freedom Foods Shepparton group engineering manager, Gary Thomas. Photo: Supplied.
JOBS, EXPANSION AND INNOVATION… From left, Freedom Foods Shepparton site general manager, Mick Betson, Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford and Freedom Foods Shepparton group engineering manager, Gary Thomas. Photo: Supplied.
JOBS, EXPANSION AND INNOVATION… From left, Freedom Foods Shepparton site general manager, Mick Betson, Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford and Freedom Foods Shepparton group engineering manager, Gary Thomas. Photo: Supplied.

FREEDOM Foods’ Shepparton facility will be able to cut its power bills, expand its operations and create 80 new jobs, thanks to a multi-million dollar investment partnership with the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford visited Freedom Foods recently to announce the company’s massive $78M expansion of its Shepparton milk processing facility.

Employing 100 staff and processing 250 million litres of milk a year, Freedom Foods’ Shepparton facility is the largest ultra-high temperature processing milk plant in the southern hemisphere.

The expansion will double the plant’s processing capacity to 500 million litres a year, create 80 new jobs and enable Freedom Foods to save more than $1.5M on its yearly power bills.

These savings will be achieved by an $8.6M investment in on-site rooftop solar, voltage optimisation and battery storage that’s expected to reduce electricity usage by around 36 percent.

The grant will be drawn from the Jobs, Investment Attraction and Assistance Program, a dedicated fund designed to secure private sector investment, create jobs and boost economic activity in Victoria.

This is the biggest industrial investment in Shepparton in many years and comes on the back of Freedom Foods’ investment earlier this year to expand its Shepparton plant to meet growing demand.

The investment will help secure the future of this local icon while also enabling it to compete in global food and fibre markets.

Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford said, “With this grant, we’re helping create new jobs in Shepparton and boosting the local economy.”

Minister for Industry and Employment, Ben Carroll said, “Almost 10,000 new jobs have been created in Shepparton since Labor came to office four years ago, and we’ll keep helping local businesses create local jobs.”

Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio said, “This will help Freedom Foods reduce its power bills through renewable energy and create more local jobs.”