Company invests $5.3 million into Coast economy
  • Saturday 18 August 2012

Award-winning specialist food producer Zehnder Gluten Free has announced a $5.3 million re-investment on the Sunshine Coast.

The Maleny manufacturer has relocated its business to a facility at the Big Pineapple, where it will now be in a position to increase its workforce by an expected 68 new full-time positions.

Mayor and Economic Development portfolio Councillor Mark Jamieson said the news was very welcome.

"Zehnder has been operating for some time in Maleny with 19 employees," he said.

"The company has won several Telstra business awards, domestic and international best food awards, and most recently was honoured with the 2011 Telstra?Queensland Innovative Business Award.

"This is the kind of business we want here on the Coast – it plays an important role in our vision for the region to become a premier food and beverage producing location.

"The company’s decision to expand here against some very competitive alternative locations underlines its confidence in our efforts toward creating a more sustainable local economy.

Owner Josef Zehnder said the business case provided by council and a desire to remain in a region known for its clean green image were key factors for his company to reject a move interstate or overseas as originally considered.

"Our decision to establish this new factory was influenced strongly by the support from the council as well as the abundant labour skills in the local area," he said.

"Also, the premises for the new site had to accommodate space needs for new processing technologies and customised equipment that Zehnder Gluten Free has incorporated into its unique production method, many of which have not previously been used in Australia."

Cr Jamieson said council was demonstrating that the Sunshine Coast is Delivering a Natural Advantage to Business by providing a compelling and competitive proposition to support business investment

"This is a win-win all around; a fantastic location and business opportunity for Zehnder and a win for the Sunshine Coast community in terms of more jobs for its residents," he said.