Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Manufacturing Exports and Trade Richard
Victoria Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell
A Bright Future For SPC Ardmona’s Goulburn Valley Operations
Victor P Taffa
The Victorian Coalition Government today announced support for a $90 Million upgrade for SPC Ardmona that will secure the future of its Goulburn Valley operations and create 45 new jobs.
Speaking from SPC Ardmona’s Shepparton plant, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan and Minister for Manufacturing Exports and Trade Richard Dalla-Riva joined Member for Shepparton Jeanette Powell to announce that the Coalition Government would invest $4.4 Million towards the improvement program.
“SPC Ardmona is vital to the future of the Goulburn Valley and the Coalition Government is pleased to support this major investment in efficiency gains, environmental improvements and product innovation.” Mr. Ryan said.
“A range of projects will be implemented under the $90 Million package including works to de-seasonalise fruit operations, consolidate tomato products manufacturing at Shepparton and replace caustic peach peeling with steam peeling.”
“The manufacturing plant and equipment will be modernised, increasing the company’s efficiency and streamlining its manufacturing operations.”
“The project will also reduce SPC Ardmona’s annual fruit processing costs by $12.4 Million and cut annual water use by 242 megalitres and annual energy consumption by almost 55,000 gigajoules at the Shepparton plant.”
Mr. Dalla-Riva said the major investment in SPC Ardmona would improve operations and provide greater certainty for employees and the region’s fruit and vegetable growers.
“These improvements works will mean new technologies and products that will significantly strengthen SPC Ardmona’s operations into regional Victoria.” Mr. Dalla-Riva said
“A specific project focused on new product development is expected to not only create immediate new jobs, but generate future employment.”
“This investment is a great example of the contribution regional manufacturers make to Victoria’s manufacturing sector, which is the largest employer of manufacturing workers in Australia. The Coalition’s $58 Million manufacturing package will also assist other regional manufacturers to invest in technology to secure domestic and international export opportunities.”
Mrs. Powell said SPC Ardmona was one of the largest food processors in the Goulburn Valley and its continued operation was critical for the region.
“SPC Ardmona has 870 full-time-equivalent staff and its economic activity indirectly supports more than 2,700 more jobs in the Goulburn Valley.” Mrs. Powell said.
“SPC Ardmona sources most of its raw product from local fruit growers and suppliers in the region so the entire regional supply chain depends on the company remaining competitive and financially viable.”
“The company directly injects about $63 Million into the local economy through salaries and wages and provides apprenticeships, training programs work experience programs and graduate student programs to young people in the region.”
Mr. Ryan said the $90 Million package of improvements would help protect the jobs of 870 employees across the Goulburn Valley by improving its competitiveness and lowering its costs.
“The project will also secure the future of SPC Ardmona’s 275 contract growers and suppliers of semi-processed fruit products such as fruit juice and pulp.” Mr. Ryan said.
“SPC Ardmona buys 150,000 tonnes of fruit worth $32 Million each year from contract growers who, along with suppliers employ about 1,868 workers in the region.”
Project works are scheduled to start in October 2012 and be completed by March 2015.