Salad facility officially open

A NEW washroom at Australian Fresh Salads’ vegetable processing facility in Maffra, which was partially funded by the state government, was officially opened on Friday.

Performing the official opening, Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull, said the previous Coalition Government had provided $200,000 from the Latrobe Valley Industry and Infrastructure Fund toward Australian Fresh Salads’ $1.7 million construction of its Maffra vegetable processing facility.

“This project has been a significant benefit for employment in the region, with local contractors engaged during the construction phase of the facility, including electricians, plumbers, concretors, building surveyors and engineers.

“As a direct result of this project, we now have more full time employment generated in the Maffra district with Australian Fresh Salads increasing its workforce at the facility,” Mr Bull said.

“It has employed more skilled labour including business managers, harvest and production co-ordinators, quality assurance co-ordinators and production managers, to name a few,” he said.

Australian Fresh Salads’ business improvement manager, Andrew Dimarco, said the project achieved objectives including the expansion of the current facilities to meet increasing production and processing capabilities.

“This included the purchase and installation of new vegetable processing equipment and construction of subsequent value adding production rooms which has allowed the processing of produce to be carried out within a new temperature controlled environment,” he said.

“We have upgraded existing infrastructure as well as increasing our existing footprint at the facility.

“This expansion includes a new washroom as well as increasing the micro testing, quality control and food safety validation operational area,” Mr Dimarco said.

Mr Bull said as a result of this project, Australian Fresh Salads was now better positioned to supply fresh cut produce to wholesale domestic markets and pre-washed salads for domestic retail markets.

“The business can now look at ways in which it can successfully target the Melbourne market and investigate expansion into export markets,” he said.