ONE hundred jobs will be created and 1000 positions secured with the opening of a research centre at Melbourne's Kraft Foods factory.The announcement is a small but welcome boost for a state economy that shed 30,000 jobs in January, according to the latest employment data.
Premier Ted Baillieu opened stage one of Kraft's Confectionary Centre of Excellence today, saying the R&D arm has the potential to expand Kraft Foods' market from 20 million Australians to 1.6 billion people across the Asia Pacific.
The centre will work on developing new confectionary products to be shipped to Asia.
"It will be a world class, globally competitive research facility located here at Kraft ... reaching out to the world," Mr Baillieu said.
"The centre will deliver a very significant boost for Victoria's food manufacturing innovation. It will be staffed by the largest food R and D team in Australia."
The Kraft Foods factory, in Ringwood in Melbourne's east, produces more than 200 million Easter eggs per year and 250 million snack products, predominantly chocolate bars.
The government support comes from its industry support fund but Mr Baillieu would not reveal the size of the commitment.
Planning is yet to get underway on the second stage of development at the centre.