Saturday, May 25, 2024

Murray River Council approves plans for new almond processing hub

Murray River Council has approved an application for the construction of an almond hulling and shelling facility at Murray Downs.

The Council says Murray Downs Processing will be delivered in stages over the next few years by Australian Farming Services; the management company managing Cadell, Canally and Augusta orchards.

The orchards operate across multiple farm enterprises in the Sunraysia/Riverina area and is one of the largest, connected, horticultural aggregations in Australia.

Mayor, Chris Bilkey said the project was another great boost for the north-western area of the council.

“From a Council perspective, this investment into our area is another positive milestone for long-term progress for the nut and almond industry which is already well established in our rural areas around Tooleybuc.”

“It is also a positive outcome for the Murray Downs community, which has a lot of potential to grow and become an attractive commercial and residential area across the river from Swan Hill,” he said.

The hulling and shelling facility to be built on Swan Hill Road is designed to process 35,000 tonnes of almond kernel, with 17,500 tonnes of capacity to be installed for processing in the 2024 season.

This facility will consist of hulling and shelling equipment, inshell bagging, kernel sorting and packaging and warehousing. 

A decision to expand Murray Downs Processing to the design capacity of 35,000 tonnes will be made in the future, Council said in a statement.

Council’s Director Planning and Environment, Rod Croft said the project strengthens council’s commitment to expand the commercial potential of the north-western area of the council.

“The facility itself will create 60-plus full-time jobs, creating growth for both the company and our local communities.”

“The almond industry has undergone rapid expansion in recent years and faces a significant shortage in almond processing capacity, so this new facility will position our area well to further support the demand for almonds both domestically and abroad,” Mr Croft said.

Latest Articles