HOT PRODUCE: Ian Gaffel of Austchilli, Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, Rob Pafumi Austchilli general manager of innovation, marketing and sales and Austchilli managing director David De Paoli in the nearly complete Austchilli expansion facility.
HOT PRODUCE: Ian Gaffel of Austchilli, Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, Rob Pafumi Austchilli general manager of innovation, marketing and sales and Austchilli managing director David De Paoli in the nearly complete Austchilli expansion facility. Geordi Offord

Bundy firm's finger lickin' Asian KFC deal

LOCAL produce enterprise Austchilli is turning up the heat on their production with a new expansion facility and a new deal with KFC.

Their locally-grown chillies will feature in KFC chains throughout Malaysia.

Austchilli general manager of innovation, marketing and sales Rob Pafumi said it was exciting to have a locally grown and produced product going overseas.

Their chillies are pureed in Bundaberg before being sent to Malaysia to produce a final ingredient.

"We're very proud of the fact we supply to 13 countries around the world,” he said.

"It's fantastic to be associated with a brand like KFC through the food chain and supply chain.”

Mr Pafumi said it gives them a chance to compete with the big guys.

"It gives us good belief, and firm belief we can and are competitive in the global stage which is really important for us locally,” he said.

The company also has a new facility which has created 34 new jobs for locals with $1.5 million federal funding coming from the Wide Bay - Burnett Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Austchilli managing director David De Paoli said they had fast tracked the sophistication of their operation with the new facility.

"Our consumer now is wanting cleaner food, they don't want to see much on the label, they want more nutritious food for their families and that's what we're going to deliver,” he said.

"We've spent close to $8 million on this project and that is to value add the great food we've got here and give consumers the opportunity to have our food all over the world.”

The new facility is close to completion. "We're looking at technology from all over the world now that doesn't allow additives to be put in...it never ends we'll just keep growing and growing,” he said.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt yesterday visited the family owned operation. "This expansion has increased the company's output by 20 per cent,” Mr Pitt said.



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