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SPC news welcomed by Kagome

Echuca processor Kagome has welcomed the decision from the Victorian Government to support SPC Ardmona.

February 17, 2014 4:38am

Echuca tomato processor Kagome is praising news that the Victorian Government will offer a lifeline to SPC Ardmona.

After a struggle to find support and funding for the Shepparton facility, the Victorian Government has offered $22 million.

The money will complement $78 million being invested by SPC Ardmona parent company Coca-Cola Amatil.

According to a metropolitan newspaper, Coca-Cola Amatil will enter a legally binding agreement to maintain a minimum of 500 full-time equivalent jobs for three years and to refund all state government funds if it ceases operations in Shepparton within five years.

Kagome’s general manager of processing operations, Ian Bradney, said the funding news was extremely positive.

‘‘From Kagome’s perspective, it will be beneficial for Kagome to continue supplying tomatoes to SPC Ardmona.’’

He said this was about 8000 tonnes a year.

‘‘The amount is negotiated each year depending on the sales forecast for SPC Ardmona.’’

Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison welcomed the funding.

‘‘This announcement recognises the importance of SPC to the Goulburn Valley and broader economy by the State Government,’’ Cr Maddison said.

He said the Goulburn Valley played an important role in Australia’s overall food production and the investment in SPC not only secured the modernisation program but provided much-needed job security.

Victoria’s food and fibre industry accounts for 29 per cent of Australian food exports, he said.

‘‘As well as being important for Goulburn Valley region, this is great news for the Shire of Campaspe specifically as our shire is significantly dependent on horticulture production and processing.’’

‘‘I would encourage the community to continue to show their support to SPC by buying their products and look forward to this iconic brand continuing for future Australians.’’

Member for Murray Sharman Stone said it was great news for the Goulburn Valley and Australia as a whole.

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