A joint venture business is building a $40 million factory in Shepparton to produce UHT milk aimed at the Asian market.GEOFF ADAMS AND CATHY WALKER August 13, 2013 3:47am
A joint venture business is building a $40
It is expected to generate around 100 immediate jobs and as many as three or four times that amount in spin-offs with increased demand for milk from Goulburn Valley farmers.
Kyabram-based milk supply company ACM (Australian Consolidated Milk) and Pactum Australia are building the factory in Old Dookie Rd.
Pactum Australia is owned by the ASX-listed company Freedom Foods Group, and ACM is part of the Pactum Group.
ACM director John Hommes said the new factory was ‘‘massive’’ for his business and ‘‘good for the whole community’’.
‘‘A manufacturing plant will make our company more stable,’’ Mr Hommes said.
‘‘In full swing, when it gets going in four years’ time, it will be enormous.’’
He praised the assistance the development has been given by Greater Shepparton City Council, Goulburn Valley Water, Goulburn-Murray Water and Powercor.
‘‘We’ve kept it pretty low key,’’ Mr Hommes admitted. ‘‘But all those people have been magnificent in getting the factory established.’’
Pactum Australia is a broad-based manufacturer in Sydney, producing long-life food and beverage products. ACM was established by dairy farmers in 2008, and now has about 50 suppliers.
A spokesman for Freedom Group said demand for UHT (long-life) milk into Asia had seen Pactum decide to expand its UHT capabilities, with a new production location to be established at Shepparton.
He said this provided a unique manufacturing location, given Shepparton’s well-established food manufacturing capabilities and importantly its proximity to a high quality milk supply in northern Victoria.
Mr Hommes said ACM’s farmer suppliers were based from Kyabram to Cobram, with some in the Southern Riverina, and the new UHT facility would obviously provide opportunities for more to join in and potentially have a positive impact on milk prices.
Pactum said it would manage the Shepparton operation, which will be a 50-50 joint venture.
The facility will have an initial capacity of 100
Mr Hommes said UHT milk could begin to come out of the factory as early as this December.
Pactum said it had focused on Asian opportunities, noting overall demand for dairy in the region was being driven by increasing population, rising gross domestic product, higher disposable incomes and increased urbanisation.
But all the milk won’t necessarily be unpacked in Asia.
‘‘We will also be contract packers — we’ll pack for anyone,’’ Mr Hommes said.
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The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Leitchville-Gunbower claimed honours in its A grade showdown against Lockington-Bamawm United yesterday, 53-31.
Hundreds rose early for Dawn Services across the district on Saturday to commemorate 100 years since the Gallipoli landings.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash could not confirm when or if Deniliquin’s health classification would be changed when in town a little more than a week ago.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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