Australia’s largest hazelnut grower will soon be expanding production for domestic and export markets, with support from the Andrews Labor Government.
Wangaratta-based Carboor Farms has received $200,000 through the Labor Government’s Food Source Victoria program for new equipment and facilities to dry, grade and crack hazelnuts for further value-add processing.
The investment will create five new full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and will ensure the company can respond to increasing demand from domestic and international markets.
The grant will help Carboor Farms establish a hazelnut cracking facility in Victoria, creating efficiencies for large scale Australian hazelnut producers who must currently export to overseas cracking facilities.
The northern hemisphere is responsible for most of the world’s hazelnut production and Australia currently imports 2,000 tonnes of hazelnuts per year.
This project is expected to double sales of domestically produced hazelnut and associated product sales within 12 months while also working towards replacing imports from Turkey, Italy and the United States.
To achieve this, Carboor Farms is working with a number of Victorian businesses including hazelnut growers, packaging and labelling companies, an oil mill and a transport company.
The $20 million Food Source Victoria program supports activities that add value to agricultural produce sourced from regional Victoria to build stronger agri-food businesses and regional communities.
This includes creating new jobs, growing agriculture and food industries, driving innovation and efficiencies in the industry and increasing Victorian agri-food exports.
As noted by Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“Victorian producers continue to lead the way in driving innovation and excellence right across the supply chain, and Carboor Farms is a prime example.”
“We’re proud to play our part in providing this grant that will assist Carboor Farms improve their product quality, export potential and also create local jobs.”
As noted by Carboor Farms owner Ben Barrow
“Receiving this Food Source Victoria grant is great news for our business and for other smaller hazelnut growers in the region.”
“The grant will enable the growth of the entire industry by allowing us to value add, scale up and ensure we’re a valuable member of the supply chain.”