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Seymour egg production facility funding boost

Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.

CHALPAT SONTI December 12, 2013 11:16am

Valley Park Farms managing director Morry Wroby and livestock manager Steve Ligoli flank State Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish at the company's state of the art factory on Hume and Hovell Rd. In front is a "crack detector" which use drumsticks and microphones to detect hairline cracks invisible to the human eye.


On the outskirts of Seymour an egg production facility quietly goes about some important work.

Valley Park Farms not only supplies eggs for vaccine production by Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, but is making a big splash in the world of supermarket shoppers as well.

Its Hume and Hovell Rd operation last week received a $100000 boost from the Victorian Government’s regional growth fund to expand. It expects to ramp up production, adding another nine people to the 21 already employed.

Valley Park operates farms at Seymour, Avenel and Nar Nar Goon, as well as a processing plant at Laverton North, with a total of 12 jobs expected to be created all up. The Seymour operation processes 1.2million eggs a week, stamping up to 40000 eggs an hour.

Some of the technology used is also impressive. The machine pictured uses drumsticks and microphones to pick up hairline cracks invisible to the human eye. This is important because if one gets through and is picked up by buyers, the whole carton will be rejected.

Managing director Morry Wroby said it was planned to increase production from four days a week to six within the next year, which should mean putting on a second shift. New free-range egg farms were also on the cards with Mr Wroby looking for sites. A previous proposal for one closer to the Seymour end of Hume and Hovell Rd was withdrawn in 2011 after neighbours objected.

The company had also moved away from heavy reliance on CSL to diversifying into supplying free range eggs for supermarkets.

‘‘All our eggs are free range,’’ Mr Wroby said during a tour of the state-of-the-art facility last week.

‘‘We’re also doing value adding. Hairline crack eggs will be pasteurised into a liquid egg product for use by the big cake and pasta manufacturers.’’

The Seymour expansion would be commissioned in February, but a commitment to free range also brought challenges.

‘‘Free range is bloody hard,’’ Mr Wroby said.

‘‘You have bigger eggs than average out of the cage system (the company’s super-jumbo eggs such as the one State Member for Seymour Cindy McLeish is pictured holding weigh 80-90g) and you lose control. You put up fences then have to raise them because the foxes keep jumping over them.’’

Ms McLeish said it was important to support local job creation.

‘‘We’re very conscious of that,’’ she said.

‘‘This is a great story and it deserves our support.’’

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