$30 million for Norco ice cream
MOOVE over contenders, Norco's place in Australia's icecream market has been secured with the announcement of a $30 million expansion of the Lismore ice cream facilities.
The investment will secure 850 jobs and ensure the sustainability of the co-operative's 220 farm members.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Page MP Kevin Hogan said it was a significant announcement for the business and the wider region.
"I've had some pretty exciting days as an MP in this region over the past five years but this is up there as one of the best because Norco is loved by our community," Mr Hogan said.
The Federal Government will contribute $14.9 million to the project under its Regional Growth Fund.
"It will ensure Norco's place in the ice-cream market in Australia for a long time.
"This means they will produce 100 million litres of icecream each year, from 55 million litres.
"It means more people employed, longer shifts and it will secure the jobs that are already here.
"The doubling of production means the milk price paid to Norco's 220 member farms will increase by $20,500 for each farm every year once the plant is completed.
"This will make our dairy industry more sustainable.
"The additional farm income will be spent locally in our shops and businesses, further strengthening our economy."
The project includes the construction of a two storey building to accommodate the two spiral freezer tunnels, the installation of a fully automated robotic palletising system, water recovery machines and new vats.
Norco acting chief executive Greg McNamara said the expansion was "an amazing opportunity to develop a world class ice-cream facility".
He said a significant proponent of this was turning it into a global plant that can produce product for any customer across the globe.
"Our focus now is about employing younger people and bringing young skilled labour in and training those people up...it's a community opportunity here to grow the business and support farmers."