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.
A pedestrian has been taken to Goulburn Valley Base Hospital this afternoon.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Shaun Atkins’ 32-point performance was quickly forgotten after the Echuca-Moama Pirates suffered their biggest loss on Saturday.
As expected the Rochester Community Recreation Grants Program launched last week has already ruffled feathers within the community.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Three major crashes in Moira Shire in less than a week prompts Christmas warning from authorities.
Winners of the ‘Deni: All lit up’ residential Christmas lights competition were announced yesterday.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.