Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said the proposed $11.37 million expansion by Lenswood Cold Store Co-operative Society Limited would diversify and expand its capacity, as well as creating new regional employment opportunities.
“This is a major project which will bring economic benefits to the region and industry,” Mr Brock said.
“The project will result in the establishment of a new world’s best practice processing facility.
“The existing Lenswood and Forest Range sites will also be redeveloped to increase the Co-op’s capacity to produce new innovative packaging for domestic and expanding export markets.
“At least 50 new ongoing jobs will be created to run the new and expanded operations once full capacity is reached.
“A number of jobs will also be created during the construction phase, as well as the engagement of construction and advisory companies, which will boost local employment,” Mr Brock said.
“The expansion will also increase the commercialisation of new apple and pear varieties through the ‘Next Fruit Generation Australia’ company– the Co-op’s marketing and intellectual property arm.
“The company brings innovation to South Australia’s apple and pear industry through commercialising unique fruit varieties.
“This major, value-adding expansion supports the State Government’s economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’, and ‘Growth through innovation’,” Mr Brock said.
CEO of Lenswood Co-op James Walters said the development would reinvigorate apple choice and availability for consumers, not only in Australia, but also across global markets.
“The new trademark varieties held by Next Fruit Generation Australia will require state of the art manufacturing capability to produce new local offerings, which will cater for the national and international premium markets.
“The State Government funding is supporting our vision to enhance value to South Australian apple and pear producers,” Mr Walters said.
The State Government’s $15 million as year Regional Development Fund drives economic growth and productivity by offering grants to boost investment in regional infrastructure and the creation of jobs and new opportunities for regional South Australia.