Jobs, production benefit from fruit facility investment

Ready to go: Andrew Plunkett and Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum check out the new warehouse and packing facility at Plunkett Orchards, Ardmona. Photo by Daneka Hill

More fruit will be packed and jobs created after a $12.2 million capital upgrade of facilities at Ardmona’s Plunkett Orchards.

The project involved the construction of a new warehouse, as well as a new apple and pear packing facility.

At the unveiling on Tuesday, March 22, Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said the Federal Government contributed $1.05 million to the project via the Regional Jobs and Investment Package, with the remainder funded by the fourth-generation family company.

“This impressive facility features new apple pre-sizing technology and state-of-the-art apple and pear packing-line equipment,” Mr Drum said.

“Plunkett Orchards now operates one of Australia’s largest packing facilities, with its pre-sizing technology allowing it to supply customers with fruit tailored to their exact purchase order specifications, rather than just selling what has been packed.

“I congratulate Andrew and his team for an investment that is supporting the local community by creating jobs and providing more opportunities to local growers.”

Plunkett Orchards general manager Andrew Plunkett said the project was a must because the previous apple packing line was at full capacity.

“This project has enabled us to take on extra fruit packing work for both local growers, and also other local packing sheds,” Mr Plunkett said.

“Importantly, we have also been able to source all of the services and trades required during construction from local Goulburn Valley-based businesses.”

The Goulburn Valley was selected as one of 10 regions nationally for the Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Read more in next week’s Country News.