Cobram fruit growers in disarray but not defeated, after Federal Government’s decision not to contribute $25 million to SPC Ardmona.TONI BRIENT February 5, 2014 4:20am
The Federal Government’s decision not to contribute $25
SPC Ardmona asked the Victorian government for the same contribution, which Premier Denis Napthine did not accept or reject during his visit to the company’s Shepparton plant on Friday.
RJ Cornish director James Cornish from Cobram said he was one of SPC Ardmona’s largest peach and pear suppliers.
‘‘I guess to say we’re disappointed is an understatement,’’ Mr Cornish said.
‘‘I thought SPC had a good case.’’
Victorian Peach and Apricot Growers Association president and Cobram orchardist Tony Latina said while the lack of financial support from government was disappointing, it didn’t signal the end of the industry.
Mr Latina said it would be up to SPC Ardmona to plan its next move, including the future of the cannery.
The Latina Fruits director said the lack of funding would be felt by fruit growers in Cobram.
‘‘It wont be as severe as Shepparton, but it still will have an impact,’’ he said.
‘‘For the largest growers, like RJ Cornish, it will have a big impact.’’
Mr Cornish said Cobram growers had already survived a round of SPC Ardmona’s cost-cutting measures, and was confident growers could continue to thrive.
‘‘There’s already been impact with a lot of growers struck off the list last year,’’ he said.
‘‘I sold land and knocked orchards out.’’
Mr Cornish said growers could adapt by growing fresh fruit instead of cannery varieties, for example.
Mr Latina said many local growers had already begun adapting, with the government’s latest decision proving the agricultural sector was ‘‘not getting any support’’.
He said low import tariffs offered little protection to local farmers, and contributed to SPC Ardmona’s financial difficulty.
‘‘(The government) seem to be turning a cold shoulder on us,’’ he said.
‘‘Every other country in the world looks after agriculture more.
‘‘Here in Australia we always seem to be fending for ourselves.’’
However, Mr Latina said Cobram farmers who supplied to SPC Ardmona should be optimistic about their futures.
‘‘I’m not alarmed,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll wait and see what happens.
‘‘We won’t know until (SPC Ardmona) review everything properly.’
See more SPC Ardmona stories in this week’s Cobram Courier.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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