- Tuesday 18 July 2017
Innovative company Freeze Dry Industries has officially opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will add significantly to the Sunshine Coast’s growing food and agribusiness sector.
The modern manufacturing facility based in Yandina is the first of its kind in Queensland and uses the latest technology freeze dryers to dry 100% Australian fresh fruits, vegetables and other raw materials to develop highly nutritional products.
Mayor Mark Jamieson joined Freeze Dry Founder and CEO Michael Buckley for the official opening today.
Mayor Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast was fast becoming known as an Australian food innovation and nutrition powerhouse.
“Freeze Dry Industries’ investment builds on the presence of international success stories Gourmet Garden and CoYo and national leaders such as The Happy Snack Company and Country Chef among many others,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We encourage more food players to look at our region.
“The food and agribusiness industry is one of the seven high-value industries identified in our Regional Economic Development Strategy, and currently contributes more than $670 million to our local economy, with significant growth seen in the region’s food processing sector.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Freeze Dry Industries into our local business community and our food industry, and wish them well for their business and future growth.”
Mr Buckley said the new facility was an exciting step, using new Australian technology to turn raw material into something tasty and healthy.
“The official opening today of our new facility is a huge step for us, something that I’ve been looking forward to over the past 12 months,” Mr Buckley said.
“I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition technology, but I became specifically interested in freeze dried processes during my previous work experience in business consulting and studies in research and development.
“The process of freeze drying is known worldwide for its nutritional value and allows us to turn raw food products such as fruit and vegetables, or even raw food waste products like fruit skins or cores, into a highly nutritional product.
“We’ve been experimenting with a range of materials like plum skins, pineapple cores and even camel milk, both for our own interest and on behalf of clients.
“It gives us the chance to turn something that would traditionally be thrown out into a potential superfood.
“When I was looking for a location to set up the business, I wanted somewhere beautiful where I wanted to live, as well as a location that has talent and provided a connection to a major capital city via road and rail.
“The Sunshine Coast provided all of this and much much more.
“We’ve been able to take advantage of the support of Sunshine Coast Council and in particular the local Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) which has connected us with a range of highly experienced people in the food and agribusiness industry.
“The business is doing well. We still want to improve but we have production happening everyday and we’ve also launched our retailer SunLife and in addition to supplying the domestic market are looking to export to Japan.”
Freeze Dry Industries employs between five and 10 staff and is expecting to grow to 20 to 30 staff as export opportunities increase. They are also expecting to double the capacity of their factory.
FAN general manager Emma Greenhatch said the Sunshine Coast has a thriving network of experienced food and agribusiness professionals.
“With so much happening in the food and agribusiness industry on the Sunshine Coast, it’s important to have a strong and supportive business environment with collaboration occurring at both the business level and with industry stakeholders,” Ms Greenhatch said.
“Michael and Freeze Dry Industries have been a strong supporter of FAN and are a great addition to the region.
“They’re collaborating with other producers to investigate freeze drying products and working with a number of producers on waste minimisation/new product development opportunities.
“I congratulate Michael on his achievements with the official opening today, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”
To find out more about the food and agribusiness industry or to get in touch with Sunshine Coast Council’s Economic Development Branch, visit www.invest.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.