Jobs boost for Victoria's food bowl08/02/2022
More jobs are on the way in Greater Shepparton with the construction of a new export-standard fruit packing and grading facility at Mooroopna making significant progress through support from the Victorian Government.
The Geoffrey Thompson Holdings Ltd facility is located at the former SPC Ardmona site. The project is being delivered thanks to a grant from the Victorian Government’s $20 million Food Source Victoria program.
The $58 million project is expected to generate up to 44 new full-time jobs, and lead to $46 million worth of new Victorian fruit exports by its fifth year of operation. Premium fruit from the site will be sold in global export markets while additional fruit to be sold locally and used for purees and juices.
Geoffrey Thompson is already one of Australia’s largest apple and pear growers and suppliers and this new project is also expected to halve average post-harvest costs for fresh and processed fruit in Australia. More than 50 growers in the Goulburn Valley region will directly benefit from the site.
Works are well underway to repurpose, refurbish and refit the project site into a state-of-the-art fruit packing and grading facility, including the installation of new sorting, grading and packing equipment and services upgrades.
The site will use automation and advanced software to operate the site’s plant and equipment to assist with sorting fruit for its highest value use. The project is also set to reduce sorting, grading and packing costs to make Victoria’s exports more competitive in the global market.
The Victorian Government’s investment is putting the project on track to be completed and operational later this year. The Food Source Victoria program aims to boost exports, build industry capabilities and generate jobs in regional Victoria by encouraging food producers and supply chains to work together.
The program is key to the Government’s almost $30 billion investment across regional and rural Victoria since 2015.