SPC Ardmona is hopeful a recent lift in the company’s sales will continue now that its future in Australia has been secured.
The fruit processor has experienced a massive boost in sales when the future of its cannery at Shepparton in central Victoria came under a cloud.
But a $100 million co-investment scheme – to which the Victorian government will contribute $22 million – locks the company into Australia for the long haul, SPC says.
SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly said he hoped customers would continue to want to buy Australian fruit and vegetables.
“If we can get the Australian consumer to keep on caring like they’re caring at the moment… then we could well grow the people we employ,” he said.
“The future of all food manufacturing in Australia really belongs with the consumers.
“I don’t tell people to buy it out of guilt, I’m saying consider us and we’ll earn our spot with you.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the deal vindicated his government’s decision to refuse a request from the company for $25 million in commonwealth funding.