Article by: Hari Yellina
With six manufacturing facilities, Simplot is the last major supplier of frozen and shelf-stable vegetables farmed in Australia. It employs about 2000 people and procures over 400,000 tonnes of Australian-grown veggies annually. Along with the renowned Chiko Roll, the Bathurst facility manufactures frozen and shelf-stable vegetables under the Birds Eye and Edgell brands. It has been operating for about 100 years, employs 170 people, and collaborates with 50 regional businesses and farms.
“It will transform the Bathurst location into a frozen vegetable centre of excellence, enable additional production capacity, and ultimately assist raise local and export volumes,” said Graham Dugdale, managing director of Simplot Australia. With the investment, facilities will be upgraded, production areas will be expanded, and new equipment, including cutting-edge vegetable processing technologies, will be installed.
“Our clients and consumers enjoy food that is grown, raised, and processed in Australia. There is a widespread assumption that food cultivated and produced in Australia meets high standards. We are happy to continue investing in and helping our clients, Australian farmers, communities, and businesses, added Dugdale. To ensure that it will have enough corn, the business spent $40 million buying farmed land in the area. In order to satisfy the additional production capacity at our Bathurst business and the continuous needs of our clients, he said, “the choice to grow our portfolio of high-quality farms in the area will ensure we have secure and reliable access to corn quantities.”
Around 100 jobs in construction, installation, and commissioning are anticipated to be created throughout the project, which is anticipated to be finished in 2024. Birds Eye, John West, Leggo’s, Edgell, Seakist, Harvest, I&J, Chiko, Ally, FiveTastes, Chicken Tonight, Raguletto, Five Brothers, and Simply Great Meals are among the brands owned by Simplot. On the list of the top 100 food and drink companies in 2021, it came in at number 23.