Goulburn Valley Food Cooperative

Driven By: Community Group. Activities: Workers Rights. Locations: Australia. Location Detail: Victoria. Stage: Start-up. Business Model: Cooperative. Function: Processing.

Working towards a more secure Australian Food Industry.

The Goulburn Valley Food Cooperative is building a factory to replace Heinz in the Goulburn Valley as part of a cooperative food hub turning local ingredients into quality foods that Australians want to buy.

In late May 2011, Heinz Australia announced what it termed “productivity initiatives to accelerate future growth”. Translated, that meant it was shifting production from plants in Girgarre, Brisbane and Wagga Wagga to New Zealand – 344 jobs would disappear, including all 146 positions at Girgarre which would affect 600 in the Goulburn Valley. This film captures the effort by farmers, workers and the community to establish a Cooperative Food Hub in the Valley.

In the 12 months since the Heinz announcement, the GV Food Cooperative project has:

  • Brought together expertise across the whole ‘paddock to plate’ food chain
  • Developed new food products based on consumer demand for local produce
  • Found a site for a new factory in Kyabram (20 km from Girgarre)
  • Organised the finances to get this started and is now seeking additional support so that it can be producing Australian Grown food products within the next 12 months

Whilst Goulburn Valley’s focus differs from many food hubs’, they are dedicated to strengthening local economies through the use of local produce.