Farmer-owned dairy cooperative Norco is to invest $30 million to boost production at its Lismore ice-cream plant.
The upgrade, which commenced this month, is expected to add around 20 million additional litres of ice cream annually, meeting the growing demand for its Hinterland brand and allowing new products in years to come.
Norco, the nation’s only 100-per-cent farmer-owned co-op, launched Hinterland only last year but its range has already expanded to 11 flavours sold through Woolworths stores nationwide.
“As our largest commercial investment to date, the factory upgrade will allow us to double-down on our commitment to providing value to our farmers while also supporting the future of the local area with greater long-term employment opportunities,” said Norco CEO, Michael Hampson.
“We’ve seen the demand for our ice-cream manufacturing services really strengthen over the past few years, and the new facility will allow us to expand our production capacity to meet the needs of our current customers, and attract new ones, while also producing special and innovative flavours without compromising on the delivery of our core lines.”
The expansion is being funded half by farmers and half with a government grant as part of a program targeting business growth in rural areas.
The project is scheduled for completion in the second half of next year.