Australian Fresh Salads Pty Ltd (AFS), a leading Australian horticultural company, is about to expand its vegetable processing facilities in Maffra thanks to a Government investment in the amount of $200,000.
According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, the Victorian Coalition Government will provide the necessary funds from the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund for the company’s expansion of production and productivity operations, set to generate 20 new jobs in Gippsland.
The Regional Growth Fund was established in 2011 and has so far delivered nearly $440 million.
AFC specialises in the production of fresh cut salads, growing, harvesting and processing salad products for the retail, food service and wholesale markets.
With the funding, the company intends to undertake a $1.5 million expansion project
“This is a very important project for Maffra and our state because AFS has chosen to expand its vegetable production operation in Victoria. After the 2011 floods in Queensland, AFS decided to begin investment in Victoria by purchasing land at Maffra in the Macalister Irrigation District,” said Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs and The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull who announced the funding with Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan in Maffra.
“In 2012, the company successfully invested in land, irrigation infrastructure, a vegetable cool room, processing and storage facilities in the Maffra region, which has now resulted in further investment of $1.5 million. The current Victorian operation has approximately 15 employees, with this expansion to create an additional 20 new jobs in Gippsland.”
AFS will build a new vegetable processing, washing and drying facilities and a new plant and will also purchase the new equipment “to support the existing infrastructure”. The new investment also includes the construction of a micro testing, quality control and food safety validation operational area, an increased refrigeration capacity and new truck loading facilities.
“AFS’s expansion in Gippsland will result in the company being able to reliably supply year-round demand for its products due to operating in both Queensland and Victoria, with counter seasonal climatic conditions. The project will also provide AFS with the opportunity to enter export markets in South East Asia,” said Mr Ryan.
“Our $1 billion Regional Growth Fund is investing in community-led projects to strategically drive jobs, investment and innovation in rural and regional Victoria.”