A $400m fruit and vegetable processing facility utilising local farmer’s produce has been approved by the Lockyer Valley Council.
The Lockyer Valley Fruit and Vegetable Processing Company has been working for a number of years to get their project underway and with the DA now secured they are predicting work will start on the $80m first stage in early 2023.
Over the course of the five stages, it’s projected the project will generate more than 500 jobs for locals: from construction through to plant operation.
The processing plant for Lockyer Valley Foods will be built on a 56-hectare site at Withcott off the Warrego Highway less than one hour’s drive from Ipswich.
The facility endeavours to provide a multi-diverse packaging operation for fresh, frozen, powdered, and canned fruit and vegetable markets sourced primarily from the Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, and Darling Downs regions.
Project founder and CEO, Colin Dorber said while the approval involved 76 conditions he was confident all were manageable.
“This is truly the best Christmas present we could give to the community and growers of the Lockyer Valley and surrounding areas,” he said.
“The project will increase the profitability of farmers and growers and incorporate better water management and processing practices.
“We will utilise world-leading technology and the absolute best environmental management plan we can possibly bring to such a project.
“This project is in the best interests of not only the farming and growing community of Queensland, but also regional dwellers looking to secure long-term employment in our growing region.”
Lockyer Valley Foods application detailed the company’s commitment to protecting wildlife and ensuring the trees on the land were preserved.
Stage One of the project will involve a fresh fruit and vegetable frozen product ranges, which will be sourced, processed, and packed locally, in the Lockyer Valley.