AUSTRALIA – Tongala Nutrition has acquired the once-dormant dairy factory formerly owned by Nestle with operations planned to recommence in July.

Phillip Gomizel, the chief commercial officer of Tongala Nutrition, expressed confidence in the venture, anticipating an initial workforce of 15 individuals, with plans to scale up to 30-40 within the first 12 to 18 months.

The company aims to further expand, potentially reaching 50-70 employees in the near future, contingent upon the success of their operations.

The company’s ambitious production plans encompass a diverse range of products, including breakfast drinks, high-protein milk, fortified milk for children, hospital feeding products, and dairy exports, with an ambitious target of producing 20 million units in the inaugural year alone.

For the Tongala community, the resurgence of the factory holds profound economic and sentimental value.

Patricia McMeeken, a former factory worker, fondly reminisced about the bustling days of employment opportunities at the site, highlighting its integral role in the lives of generations of residents.

“We have a lot of other places around that provide opportunity for people to go to work, but I think this makes the people feel better in themselves if we’ve got that occupied,” she said.

David Simkin, vice-president of the Tongala Development Group, emphasized the broader positive impact of the factory’s revival on community morale, foreseeing a more vibrant local economy and enhanced sense of pride.

The reopening of the dairy factory assumes particular significance in an area where dairy farming is a cornerstone industry.”

Tongala and the surrounding Goulburn Valley region have long been synonymous with dairy production, with numerous milk processors operating in the vicinity.

Andrew Tyler, former chair of Murray Dairy, underscored the enduring importance of the dairy sector to the local economy, welcoming Tongala Nutrition’s investment as a boon for the industry.

This revitalization comes at a time of broader economic expansion in the region, with local meat processor Greenhams experiencing workforce growth following the establishment of a new facility.

Darren Maloney, chief operating officer of Greenhams, highlighted the company’s trajectory of expansion, reflecting a positive trend in regional employment opportunities.

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE