Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan attended the packing house for a first-hand look at the advanced equipment.
Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan attended the packing house for a first-hand look at the advanced equipment.

’IMPRESSIVE’: Berry packing house undergoes $2.1m upgrade

OZ GROUP’S blueberry packing house in Coffs Harbour is now said to be one of the most sophisticated in the country after undergoing a two-year, $2.1 million upgrade.

The packing house now features advanced fruit grading, packing and handling equipment complete with metal detectors and checkweighers.

It includes a sorting machine that is capable of photographing and categorising 260 berries per second.

Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan viewed the upgraded equipment yesterday, which had been partly funded by a Federal government grant of $1,050,000.

“The technology Oz Group now uses to pack and distribute berries is impressive,” he said.

“I congratulate Oz Group’s owners and CEO Adam Bianchi for investing in the two-year transformational project.”

The upgrade supported 12 jobs during construction and will create an expected 12 ongoing jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said investment in the job-making infrastructure would provide long term benefits for the Coffs Coast.

“In addition to the increased capabilities and cost efficiencies within the pack house, the investment will also enable Oz Group to be competitive in export markets and help distribute domestic supply,” Mr McCormack said.

The project received its grant of over $1m in 2017 under the federal government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Packages program.

Oz Group Trading provided $1,070,686 toward the upgrade.

Oz Group CEO Adam Bianchi said the advanced equipment meant the workforce is becoming more and more skilled.

“This technology also supports our farmers to become more competitive through improved packing efficiencies and providing higher quality fruit to the consumer.”



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