Tuesday 30th Nov, 2021

Victorian hazelnut production to expand with major upgrade equipment

Australia’s largest hazelnut grower will soon expand production for domestic and export markets.

Wangaratta-based Carboor Farms has received $200,000 from the Victorian Government to upgrade its equipment and facilities to dry, grade and crack hazelnuts for processing.

The grant will help Carboor Farms establish a hazelnut cracking facility in Victoria, creating efficiencies for large scale Australian hazelnut producers who currently must export to overseas cracking facilities.

The northern hemisphere produces most of the world’s hazelnuts, with Australia currently importing 2000 tonnes per year.

The project aims to double the sales of domestically produced hazelnut and associated product sales within 12 months to replace imports from Turkey, Italy and the United States.

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Carboor Farms is working with a number of businesses including hazelnut growers, packaging and labelling companies an oil mill and a transport company.

The investment from the State Government will also create five new full-time equivalent jobs.

It is part of the $20 million Food Source Victoria program, which aims to support activities that add value to agricultural produce sources from regional Victoria.

Victorian Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said the state’s producers lead the way in driving innovation and excellence across the supply chain.

“We’re proud to play our part in providing this grant that will assist Carboor Farms improve their product quality, export potential and also create local jobs,” she said.

Carboor Farms owner Ben Barrow said receiving the grant was great news for the business and other smaller hazelnut growers in the region.

“The grant will enable the growth of the entire industry by allowing us to value add, scale up and ensure we’re a valuable member of the supply chain,” he said.