Call for expressions of interest in the Goulburn Valley Food Cooperative

girgarre heinz goulburn valley coopA while ago I wrote about the closure of the Heinz tomato processing factory at Girgarre, Victoria; they exited Australia to conduct processing offshore. This affects 15 workers directly but about 600 jobs in the local area and leaves tomato growers in the Valley with just one processor – who is systematically screwing down prices (and thus margins for environmental sustainability) in this region.

UPDATE 7 JULY 2013: Since the Heinz factory shut down, the Goulburn Valley Food Cooperative have been twice thwarted in gaining new premises. So they’ve decided to take advantage of underutilised Australian-owned operations to make their products. A virtual factory, they call it.

Next month sees their first products hit the shelves: organic pasta made at Casalare in Kyabram, and pasta sauce at the Riverina Grove gourmet food factory in Griffith, NSW. Apart from some of the spices for the sauce, the pasta and sauce combination is made from Australian produce.

It’s a welcome initiative to revitalise local food and short food chains… go Les and the GV crew!

For more details, visit

Well the town aren’t taking it sitting down, they’re developing the Goulburn Valley Food Hub – based on the Girgarre site. This will include:

  • tomato and other fruit processing
  • an organic dairy processor (and at least two other processing ventures who subscribe to the sustainability ethic)
  • a regional training centre
  • a regional distribution centre
  • a food waste/composting recycling enterprise
  • a small forestry venture (using recycled water)

Or, for more info contact:

Tony Webb
Senior Lecturer
School of Natural Sciences

Phone : (02) 4570 1958 or Mob: 0418 212 632

cc photo by GimmeFood :)

Related elsewhere
SMH: Shane Green, Never say die, 7 July 2013.
SMH: Melissa Fyfe and Royce Millar , Farmers squashed as imports of processed fruit and veg rocket, May 27, 2012.

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