Remarks, Opening of Bickford’s Aseptic Beverage Line

05 Sep 2019
Salisbury South, SA
Prime Minister

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much Steven, and It’s great to be here with you again here in South Australia. We share a passion for what is going on here in the Kotses family.

You look around here, this is what Australia is all about. This is what it’s about.

Can I also acknowledge the Garna people pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. 

And acknowledge any veterans who are amongst us and any serving men and women in the ADF. 

I have to tell you I was pretty thrilled at getting this invitation to come along from the Premier. It came, together with yourself, from Angelo and it read and I quote, ‘We cordially’ – cheeky – ‘…invite the Prime Minister to open a new production line.’ How could I refuse that? Bickford’s is truly a great Australian brand and I think what you're doing here in northern Adelaide is fantastic for our manufacturing sector.

You know, we make things in Australia and you're making things here in South Australia. It's happening right here, right now with everyone who’s here today. 

Opening this new production line will create new jobs at this facility, as well as potential future jobs across the supply chain. In administrative jobs, in sales and marketing jobs. It will provide current workers with opportunities to upskill and I know Bickford’s already employs some 450 Australians right across the country. 

Whether you were born in Lahore, or you were born in Lonsdale, it doesn’t matter - there are jobs here, and  jobs here for Australians who come from all manner of backgrounds. It’s a great example of how the latest technology can be used to make production more efficient and also more environmentally friendly. We’re going 100 per cent recycling here at Bickford’s. That's exciting. I know the kids will particularly be excited about that commitment and I know Angelo is very committed to that goal. 

More importantly though it will mean more of the delicious beverages - and there's been quite a few in my fridge over the years - ends up in the fridges and pantries in homes and great restaurants and cafes all around the world. 

I'm told that some 1.1 million Australians buy Bickford’s. 1.1 million drink cordial each month. Now that's an astounding figure  - one in every 25 Australians every single month. And that's not accounting for sales of other products like soft drinks, juices and many other things that were in the video that we just saw. And it goes to show how loyal your customers are and how iconic your brand is.

The new production line is another step forward. I understand it's the only one of its kind in the region, giving Bickford’s a real competitive advantage. Supermarkets in Jakarta, in Tokyo, in Seoul and elsewhere in Asia are overflowing with people wanting to buy high quality - I stress that again. That's the future of Australian manufacturing. High-quality products. And I understand Bickford’s has invested $20 million to establish this new line and in this plant. I'm sure that it will be well spent and it's been well considered, as we've walked through the production line and we see how you do things. 

This funding was delivered with the support of the Australian Government. We put $2.5 million into this project. Why do we do that? Because we believe in what's happening here. Why have I come here today? Because I believe in what the Kotses family is doing. I believe in the employees who are here and the hard work you put into what we do and the standards that you set for yourself and the way you work together and you live the values that are put up on the wall here in the plant. We believe in it and if you believe in it, you invest in it, and that's what we're doing here in South Australia, and we will continue to do that through these programs. 

This program that has invested $2.5 million is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Fund and the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund. This is all set up to help manufacturers adopt new technology and develop high value products. And there are many other initiatives to boost research and support SMEs all around the country. 

But today's opening of Bickford’s new production line is a signal to other manufacturers in Adelaide, in South Australia, that this is a great place to invest and grow. So I do hope it instils broader confidence in the strength of local manufacturing. Bickford’s has a long-standing reputation for quality and reliability and you're combining this with a focus on the future with new technology and new markets. 

There'll be millions more people, whether they're here or Vietnam or anywhere else, who will continue to enjoy your products for many years to come. But what I know will never change here, as I've had the opportunity and the great privilege to meet people on the line this morning and to chat to Angelo and his family, is the values that underpin what you do here. The commitment and the loyalty and the values and the commitment to excellence and a commitment to your community to this business being a success. That's what will ultimately turn around South Australia. And that's what I know the Premier is backing in as well. They're backing South Australians and the judgment they're making, backing Australians and the judgment they’re making. 

The Australian economy is growing and I'll tell you why it's growing. It's because of you and what's happening in places like this all around the country. That's our future. 

We're an optimistic lot, Australians. We are a very optimistic lot. We believe in what we can do in the future. There are plenty of people out there they want to talk things down and get grumpy and mopey and all the rest of it. But I’ll tell you what, that doesn't grow a state and it doesn't grow a country and when you turn up to work every day and when I turn up to work every day, we think about the positive future that Australia has, that South Australia has and Adelaide has. And I really want to thank the Kotses family for leading by example. I want you to put your hands together for the Kotses family.

A great family business. A great Australian family. A family that tells the story of Australia, who came and saw the opportunities here a generation ago. And raising new generations that are before us yet, sharing the prosperity but mainly in the hard work that generated that prosperity. 

It's a great Australian story and there are so many more chapters to be written and you'll be writing them all. 

We're pleased to be a part of it. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today.