When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted international food closure supply chains, Australian food and beverage businesses were unable to source products crucial for food storage and packaging. Interpack saw an opportunity to diversify their beverage closure manufacturing offering to service the sector. With funding needed to upgrade their facilities, Grant Thornton helped Interpack to successfully apply for grant funding through the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund

Client Challenge

Interpack is an Australian family-owned company that manufactures a diverse range of customised, quality metal closures for beverage packaging solutions. Their current product range includes bottle tops and closures – that is, devices to seal containers – and they also undertake a range of value added services, like design and printing for brand customisation.

Interpack’s closures have been important and complementary items for Australia’s beverage sector supply chain, as they enable safe and secure preservation and storage.

When COVID-19 disrupted international supply chains across many sectors, it highlighted significant weaknesses within Australia’s domestic manufacturing capability. Until recently, supply of some essential items for Australian food production, such as glass jar closures (twist-off lug caps), were produced overseas with no domestic supplier.

Interpack saw an opportunity, identifying they had transferable manufacturing capabilities and knowledge to innovate and manufacture these crucial food closure products to service the Australian market.

The Solution

Interpack needed to invest in new technology to tap into this opportunity and service the sector. Interpack’s 12-month upgrade project required investment in specialist manufacturing equipment to produce high quality, sustainable PVC-free and food-safe metal lids.

Interpack engaged Grant Thornton to help prepare a submission under the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) – a fund that would support them to meet this new goal. Lead Partner Jacky Millership and the team leveraged their extensive experience to demonstrate how Interpack’s project aligned with the objectives of the MMF program, ensuring the proposal rated highly across all merit criteria assessments in a highly competitive process.

The Outcome

Interpack’s MMF application was successful, one of only 86 successful projects.

With the Government support, Interpack has become the only domestic manufacturer of these lids, using the latest automation technology to ensure global cost competitiveness of its products. This project enables Interpack to become a reliable twist-off lug cap provider, supporting national food security with Australian businesses no longer purely reliant on offshore suppliers.

According to Jacky: “Interpack saw opportunity in the supply chain volatility caused by COVID-19 and MMF funding has enabled them to use existing closures experience to pivot quickly. The MMF funding helps Interpack access the next generation technology critical to developing sustainable, food-safe closure products in Australia. The funding has driven Interpack’s agile response to supply chain disruptions and secured their reputation as a leader in F&B sector manufacturing in Australia.”

The Federal Government’s investment into Australia’s manufacturing sector

During 2020, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of supply chain security for the manufacturing sector. Businesses – and consumers alike – that rely on manufacturing and its products were also greatly impacted by the sudden disruption to the industry. It became clear that the Australian manufacturing sector would be key to the country’s economic recovery. The MMF was the Government’s first big investment into the manufacturing industry following the pandemic and was a precursor program prior to the Federal Budget that heralded the big expenditure for manufacturing via the $1.5b Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI). The MMI is a longer-term and larger-scale strategy that looks to invest and promote the Australian manufacturing sector through a number of programs. In fact, the MMI included additional funding for round two of the successful MMF.

For more information, please contact Jacky Millership

Jacky has over 30 years’ consulting experience in international trade development and Government Program facilitation. She leads Grant Thornton’s B2G (Business to Government) team, which specialises in assisting business to fully leverage the very diverse range of grants and incentives available at both State and Federal level.

Jacky Millership

Jacky Millership

  • Partner - Innovation Incentives