A new $25 million processing facility to service the almond industry in the Riverina of New South Wales will be officially opened by NSW Premier the Honoutable Gladys Berejiklian in Griffith today Wednesday 28th of June.
The state of the art hulling, shelling and processing facility is the first stage multi-faceted infrastructure investment program for the region.
The project has been nine years in the planning and is a significant milestone for the 73-year-old grower owned company and its Riverina NSW and eastern Victorian growers.
The facility has taken 13 months to build and is designed to shear the hull and crack the shell from the almond kernel as well as pack in-shell product for major export destinations like India, China and Turkey. The facility will employ over 20 local people next season after initially running on one shift of 10 people this year.
The company agreed to proceed with the significant development after production levels in the Riverina region had become large and reliable enough to make the project viable as a stand-alone operation. The 2017 Riverina harvest represented just under 20% of Almondco’s crop intake. There are 1.8 million almond trees planted in the Riverina and this number is forecast to potentially double within the next five years. Almonds in the NSW Riverina now represent 15% of the national plantings.
This state of the art facility will allow local growers the ability to deliver their crops in a timely manner, instead of incurring the extra storage and transporting cost of the bulk field harvested product to South Australia
Almondco Australia Managing Director Brenton Woolston would like to acknowledge the NSW Tresury and TCorp who supported the project through a $24 million co-operative loan which was crucial to the Almondco Directors decision to proceed with the project in late 2015. Almondco would also like to pay tribute to the high calibre of the local almond growers, the Almondco project team and the myriad of dedicated contractors who helped keep the project on schedule despite record rainfall in the region last year. Over 20 local companies were used during construction of the facility.
Thank you also to the Griffith City Council for their support and engagement since lodging the Development application back in 2010 through the site completion in April 2017.