Goulburn Valley co-op launches ‘virtual factory’

Former Heinz suppliers from Victoria’s Goulburn Valley are preparing to launch a tomato pasta sauce and organic pasta pack which will be available from July 17.

The co-op’s plan to build a factory at Kyabram fell through after the collapse of the Banksia Financial Group last year. This spawned the concept for a ‘virtual factory’ which will see 5000 units of the pasta products heading to small stores, butchers and fruit shops later this month.

The Co-op’s chairman, Les Cameron told the Weekly Times Now that the closure of the Heinz factory had a significant impact on the local community.

“The loss of the Heinz factory was a blow”, he said.

“{But} We’re a determined bunch.”

The pasta sauce is made from tomatoes sourced from a local farm out of Rochester, then processed at the Riverina Grove in Griffith, while the organic pasta is made at Casalare in Kyabram.

“Our sauce isn’t as refined as the mass produced sauces… You can expect it to taste like tomato tastes,” said Cameron.

Cameron says that while plans of operating a co-op factory have been sidelined for now, the ‘virtual factories’ will keep smaller factory operations humming.

“Personally, I believe the virtual concept has to be the way to go for the next five to ten years.”


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