By David Lee
FOLLOWING the announcement of the Girgarre Heinz tomato sauce factory moving operations offshore last year, a group of locals are bringing hope to the region, recently announcing a new site for a ‘food hub’ to be built in Kyabram.
The Goulburn Valley Food Co-operative (GVFC) will soon be providing the community the chance for a taste test of some newly created products based on food grown in the Goulburn Valley, during the official launch of the co-operative at the Plaza Cinema in Kyabram today from 6:30pm.
The planned factory, to be constructed over the coming 12 months, will create over 45 new jobs for the region upon completion, providing a great start in the battle to replace jobs lost from the closure of Heinz.
GVFC Chairperson, Les Cameron said, “We are already developing new products and finding markets for them. We invite the community to test these and tell us what they think at our official launch and to make a contribution to an enterprise that will create jobs on the ground in Kyabram.”
A senior lecturer in Supply Chain Management from the University of Western Sydney and adviser to the GVFC, Dr Tony Webb said, “The co-operative food hub in Kyabram will not be making the same production mistakes as the Heinz factory. It will develop new markets and cooperation between links of the chain needed to meet these first.”
GVFC product team Co-ordinator, Helen Hubble said, “We have worked with food marketers and local producers to develop a new tomato bread and tomato sausage as an example of the kind of new products that can be produced using local produce and local skills and will have these available at our launch.”
GVFC Finance Manager, Graham Truran said, “These new products are the first small step on the road that will provide food security, jobs for the future and a profit for the community co-operative.”