Vic government confident on SPC's future
The Victorian government is confident on the future of the SPC fruit and vegetable canning business after its parent company Coca-Cola Amatil flagged a potential sale.
A strategic review of "growth options" for SPC was announced on Wednesday.
It coincides with the June 2018 end of a four-year, $100 million co-investment with the Victorian government.
In 2014, the former coalition government tipped in $22 million alongside Coca-Cola Amatil's $78 million to revive the struggling company.
"The owners of SPC have said there are no plans whatsoever to close the business, it's busy, it's a productive workplace for many, many hundreds of people," Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford told reporters.
"The parent company have flagged this review will take six to 12 months and there is the possibility of SPC being for sale.
"The government and my department will be engaged in and involved in the review."
Ms Pulford said there was bipartisan support to keep the Shepparton business alive.
"It's a big plant, it's got a huge footprint, and when you see the new products that are being produced as a result of the two big projects that have been funded by that $100 million investment, absolutely I think the former government did the right thing in making that announcement back in late 2014," she said.
Member for Shepparton, independent Suzanna Sheed, said she did not see the news as "particularly gloomy".
"It's reached a point where markets are now being developed in Asia for their smaller fruit products," she told reporters.
"It's a great opportunity for an iconic Australian company that Australians love, to be picked up."
But Nationals leader Peter Walsh said he was concerned and blamed increasing electricity costs for making business in Victoria non-competitive.
"I think it's extremely disappointing," he said.
"SPC has just recently celebrated its 100 year history in Shepparton. It is an icon in that area, it is a key part of the social and employment fabric of the Shepparton and wider community there."
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