Social enterprise in Mildura received a sweet treat this month when the Mildura Chocolate Company, a social enterprise of the Christie Centre, received a Boost Your Business Voucher for Food Innovation from the Victorian Government.

Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp paid a visit to the Mildura Chocolate to announce the funding support.  The funding will assist the local chocolate producer to  develop new chocolate treats and create jobs and training opportunities, particularly for community members who face difficulty gaining employment.

Mr Gepp said “the Boost your Business Program is helping regional enterprises like Mildura Chocolate Company to innovate and grow, creating local jobs and training opportunities.”

“We are proud to support companies to partner with industry experts and researchers to develop new products, particularly when they will benefit the employment of people of all abilities.”

The business voucher will help Mildura Chocolate Company partner with RMIT and Murray River Salt to research a new project to create a salted dark chocolate sauce product that once under production could  increase regional employment opportunities for people of all abilities.

Mildura Chocolate Company is one of four social enterprises operated by the Christie Centre which provides support services and employment opportunities for people with a disability.

The award-winning gourmet chocolate maker is one of over 100 recipients across the state which received a Boost Your Business voucher - Food Innovation Stream, in the first round of the 2018 program which was worth $3 million in total.

Vouchers are awarded to eligible businesses in a series of categories covering Advanced Manufacturing, Asia Gateway, Food Innovation and Social Enterprise Capability.

The vouchers provide funding for businesses to partner with industry experts, including RMIT, CSIRO and leading university research centres – to help them undertake research and development, develop new products, improve business processes and systems and identify new export markets.