Premier Brumby opens new Unibic factory

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 13th July 2010

Victorian Premier John Brumby today cut the ribbon on Unibic’s new $44 million biscuit and cake facility, which will produce Unibic’s whole range, including the new Harvest Kitchen Soft Centre biscuits.

Premier John Brumby, Michael Quinn and friendThe new purpose-built facility is capable of producing 4.5 tonnes of goods per hour, and includes a new research and development facility, featuring a design studio, test kitchen and miniature production line.

Unibic, a Victorian company, has produced speciality biscuits, pastries and cakes for over 50 years. The Unibic range includes an RSL-licensed ANZAC biscuit line, Weight Watchers branded baked goods, a variety of shortbreads and European-style biscuits, and the Erica’s Kitchen entertaining range. The new factory also features purpose-built technology for a new line of low-fat chips, to be released later this year.

As well as established markets in Australia and New Zealand, Unibic is growing into markets in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and India. If the new Harvest Kitchen Soft Centre product proves popular in Australia, Unibic expect to begin exports of the product from the Victorian facility.

At the new factory in Broadmeadows, Premier Brumby and Unibic’s Managing Director Michael Quinn posed with the factory’s latest, and probably most popular, employee – a life-sized gingerbread man.

Brumby said the company’s investment in a new purpose-built biscuit and cake production centre and state-of-the art research facility had been backed by Victorian Government support, and demonstrated the strength of Victoria’s manufacturing industry.

“Unibic’s investment is great news for jobs, great news for the local economy and great news for the future prosperity of Victoria’s food and beverage production industry. This impressive facility has created over 50 new Victorian jobs and as Unibic continues to expand its production and research and development capabilities, even more new jobs will be created,” he said.

The Victorian Government committed $500,000 to the project as part of a new Victorian food strategy to further grow the state’s food industry, through its $631 million Ready for Tomorrow: A Blueprint for Regional and Rural Victoria initiative. The grant has allowed Unibic to increase its permanent workforce from 120 to 170 employees, plus around 50 seasonal positions.

Quinn said, “Today’s event was about bringing together the leading lights of Victoria to show the rest of Australia and the world the significant impact Victorian industry and innovation does and can make on a global playing field.

“Few biscuit brands have ever achieved success outside of their own domestic markets due to consumer loyalty for brands they have grown up with. However we have seen first hand that consumers worldwide value the very qualities that Victoria stands for – fresh ingredients, with minimal processing and artificial additives. Victoria holds the recipe for international success in its hands.”