Geoffrey Thompson Holdings, one of Australia’s largest apple and pear growers, has encountered major progress on the construction of its new export-standard fruit packing factory in Mooroopna, Victoria.
The fruit packing and selling warehouse is being built on the former SPC Ardmona site with the aid of a grant under the Victorian government’s Food Source Victoria program. This program aims to boost exports, build industry capabilities and generate jobs in regional Victoria by encouraging food producers and supply chains to collaborate.
“This project delivers big benefits to growers and local workers by slashing the cost of sorting, grading and packing fruit from the Goulburn Valley,” parliamentary secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green said.
“We have the best product in Australia and that’s why we’re investing in the future of our agricultural sector.”
Works are well underway to repurpose and refit the site into a state-of-the-art fruit packing and grading factory, which includes installing new sorting, grading and packing equipment.
Fruit grown in the Goulburn Valley food bowl and processed at the factory will be sold locally and used for purees and juices. Stock will also be exported to international markets.
The site will use automation and advanced software to operate equipment and assist with sorting fruit for its highest value use. The project will also reduce sorting, grading and packing costs to make Victoria’s exports more competitive in the global market.
The project, which is expected to be operational later this year, will create up to 44 new full-time jobs and lead to $46 million worth of new Victorian fruit exports by its fifth year of operation.
The Geoffrey Thompson Holdings redevelopment is expected to halve post-harvest costs for fresh and processed fruit in Australia and will directly benefit more than 50 growers in the Goulburn Valley region.