Shepparton’s Geoffrey Thompson Fruit Packing will juice, sort and export more fresh fruit from the Goulburn Valley thanks to a high-tech new fruit processor.
The Liberal and Nationals Government is investing $15 million in the FRUITCo project which will decrease post-harvest costs and eliminate waste giving growers a better return at the farm gate.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the project will help to provide a globally competitive sale price, unlocking export markets currently unavailable to the Goulburn Valley and the Australian Pome and Stone fruit industry.
“This investment will make Australia more competitive on world markets, generating up to 1,350 new jobs over the next five years and making the most of our Free Trade Agreements,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to supporting local communities, helping them to prosper and grow, and our strong economic position allows us to make significant investments in local infrastructure projects such as FRUITCo,” Mr McCormack said.
Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum MP said this state-of-the-art technology means less premium quality fruit will go to waste.
“The nations we compete against for the export market are light-years ahead of us in the fruit sorting and packing process, and FRUITCo will bridge that gap,” Mr Drum said.
“Ultimately, this is an investment in our fruit industry and will elevate the Goulburn Valley to Australia’s leading fruit-growing region.”
Director of Geoffrey Thompson Fruit Packing Pty Ltd Peter Thompson said there has been widespread support from both growers and the wider community for a facility such as FRUITCo to be established in the Goulburn Valley.
“This new technology will revolutionise the packing process, increasing returns from the farm-gate to fruit growers supplying domestic and export markets,” Mr Thompson said.