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City of Whittlesea: The Gateway of Melbourne’s rapidly growing Food and Beverage Sector

Located in Melbourne’s North, the City of Whittlesea is home to a strong cluster of over 1,300 established agriculture, food and beverage businesses, making it one of the largest contributors to the sector across Melbourne.

With an output of $3.3b, it is one of the largest sectors within the municipality and employs over 13,500 workers.

The City of Whittlesea has over a long time built a legacy and culture of food and beverage manufacturing with a large cohort of highly successful small, medium and large businesses. One of the driving forces behind this is the region’s close proximity to the freeway system.  Aside from access to road and rail transport routes, this provides business trading internationally with access to air and sea ports. Major educational providers located in Bundoora include RMIT University, La Trobe University as well as Melbourne Polytechnic located in Epping.

“We believe the City of Whittlesea is a great location for food & beverage. You have great access to the whole of Melbourne being based in the north and great support from the locals!” Angelo Michailidis, Co-Owner, Mr Pitta

Key manufacturing precincts of Thomastown and Epping are home to a range of well-known food and beverage businesses such as, Edlyn Foods, Mission Foods, Jalna Yoghurt, Chris’ Foods, Tailored Beverage and Turosi. Epping is also home to the Melbourne Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Market, which is a recognised gateway for fresh produce, estimated to turn over $2 billion annually.

Businesses located in the North are well-positioned to leverage value from the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal, an announced Federal Government investment to increase connectivity to regional, national and international markets. Furthermore, the proposed Melbourne Food Innovation and Export Hub and the proposed Australian Food Innovation Centre will continue to expand opportunities in the future.

Historically, the City of Whittlesea has been a strong, diverse agricultural region servicing Melbourne with a wide array of produce, including meat, milk, wool, grain, fruit, vegetables and eggs. Milk production and distribution grew during the 1930s when a German dairying family formed the Pura Dairy in Thomastown, which in 1964 was supplying 30% of Melbourne’s milk supply.

Thomastown is 15km from the CBD and one of the largest consolidated areas of industrial-zoned land in Metropolitan Melbourne.

Since the 1970’s key industrial precincts in Thomastown and Epping have formed a base of food and beverage manufacturing, alongside food and beverage services, food retailing, and food and beverage wholesaling. The food and beverage sector within the City of Whittlesea now contributes 38% of the municipality’s total exports.

Thomastown and Epping are collectively home to over 7,600 businesses, employing over 39,000 workers. Manufacturing is the leading sector in Thomastown and fifth highest in Epping. Strong growth in population and infrastructure has contributed to the development of a multi-industry ecosystem in Epping in particular across food and beverage, wholesale trade, transport and warehousing and healthcare.

Epping is located 20 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD and is a Northern State Significant Industrial Precinct.

With a rich history and established food and beverage ecosystem, it makes sense to consider the City of Whittlesea when you consider a new location for your food and beverage business.

To learn more about locating your food and beverage business in the City of Whittlesea, go to https://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/InvestOpps

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