Victorian hazelnut production goes nuts with new equipment
Funding from the Victorian Government will allow hazelnut grower Carboor Farms to expand production to meet increasing demand from domestic and international markets.
Wangaratta-based Carboor Farms has received $200,000 through the Government’s Food Source Victoria program for new equipment and facilities to dry, grade and crack hazelnuts for further value-add processing.
As well as creating five new full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs, the investment will help the company establish a hazelnut cracking facility in Victoria. This will create efficiencies for large-scale Australian hazelnut producers who must currently export to overseas cracking facilities.
“Receiving this Food Source Victoria grant is great news for our business and for other smaller hazelnut growers in the region,” Carboor Farms owner Ben Barrow explained.
“The grant will enable the growth of the entire industry by allowing us to value add, scale up and ensure we’re a valuable member of the supply chain.”
The Northern Hemisphere is responsible for most of the world’s hazelnut production and Australia currently imports 2000 tonnes of hazelnuts per year.
This project aims to double sales of domestically produced hazelnut and associated products within 12 months to replace imports from Turkey, Italy and the United States. To achieve this, Carboor Farms is working with a number of Victorian businesses including hazelnut growers, packaging and labelling companies, an oil mill and a transport company.
The $20 million Food Source Victoria program supports activities that add value to agricultural produce sourced from regional Victoria.
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said Victorian producers lead the way in driving innovation and excellence across the supply chain. “We’re proud to play our part in providing this grant that will assist Carboor Farms improve their product quality, export potential and also create local jobs.”
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