Norco, Australia’s only 100% farmer-owned dairy cooperative, is set to boost production at its Lismore ice-cream facility with a $30 million factory upgrade kicking off this month.
The investment is expected to increase ice cream production by an additional 20 million litres per year, allowing Norco to meet current demand for its popular Hinterland ice-cream range, while making space for new production lines and further expansion.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the upgrade will safeguard jobs and ensure long term profitability for Norco’s farmer members.
“The first phase of building works is currently underway and is expected to be completed in the second half of next year,” Mr Hogan said.
“Norco came to me with plans to substantially increase production capacity and improve efficiencies at their Lismore Ice-Cream factory to ensure the job security of its existing employees at that site and to expand its workplace.”
“I am proud to have worked with them to secure $15 million so these plans could go ahead.”
Norco CEO, Michael Hampson, said that the factory upgrade demonstrates Norco’s commitment to building a sustainable future for the co-op’s farmer owners.
“As our largest commercial investment to date, the factory upgrade will allow us to double-down on our commitment to providing value to our farmers while also supporting the future of the local area with greater long-term employment opportunities,” Mr Hampson said.
“We’ve seen the demand for our ice-cream manufacturing services really strengthen over the past few years, and the new facility will allow us to expand our production capacity to meet the needs of our current customers, and attract new ones, while also produce special and innovative flavours without compromising on the delivery of our core lines.”
“Our farmer owners have proven time and time again that they can maintain top quality milk even when the environment is tough, so we are confident that with this upgrade we will be able to grow our ice-cream business and meet the growing consumer demand for more complex products at the right price.”
The first phase of building works is currently underway and expected to be completed in the second half of next year.