Tuesday, July 28, 2015

28/07/2015: Huon welcomes new era in Tasmanian seafood processing

The north of Tasmania is now home to one of the most advanced seafood processing facilities in the world as Huon Aquaculture have officially opened their new Smokehouse and Product Innovation Centre, marking a Aus$12 million investment and the creation of 70 new jobs.
Federal Minister for Employment, Eric Abetz and Deputy Premier and Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff opened the new facility alongside company founders Peter and Frances Bender.

Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Huon Aquaculture, Peter Bender said the opening marked a major milestone for the company by bringing its value added processing operations to Tasmania for the first time.

The façade of the new Smokehouse and Product Innovation
“This Smokehouse and Product Innovation Centre is part of a four-year, Aus$160 million Controlled Growth Strategy for the company which is delivering increased production capacity and efficiency whilst reducing our environmental footprint,” said Mr Bender.
Around 100 jobs were created during the construction of the facility and it has opened with 70 new employees already on board.

“We have always believed that Tasmanians have the skills and ability to grow an industry that leads the world in innovation and we are committed to investing in the region and the people who live here, either through direct employment or the use of Tasmanian firms.

Mr Bender said that the construction of the new facility utilised over 100 local contractors from when the project started in March last year.
The cold smoke processing room in the facility
Executive Director and Co-founder, Frances Bender said the new Smokehouse and Product Innovation Centre is one of the most advanced in the world and will greatly assist the company in its innovative approach to product development.

“The reputation and demand for Tasmanian produce is growing continuously, both within Australia and through international markets,” said Mrs Bender.

“This facility is a crucial step in ensuring we are taking the highest quality, innovative products to market, all proudly carrying the Tasmanian brand.”

Project Details
  • The new factory is 2500 square metres - about double the size it was previously.
  • The new facility is designed to maximise linear flow and provide complete segregation between hot and cold smoked processing.
  • A suspended walkway across existing and new processing facilities provides access to staff entry areas, as well as viewing facilities for customers and visitors. Visitors get to see first-hand Huon’s clean, efficient and transparent fish processing facility.
  • Additional works will include an upgrade to the existing fresh salmon processing facility, a new office and staff amenities building, extended car-parking facilities and other associated civil works.
Huon's Reserve Selection Whisky Cured Smoked Salmon
Background on Huon Aquaculture
Huon Aquaculture was founded in 1986 by Peter and Frances Bender at Hideaway Bay in Tasmania’s rugged far south. ASX listed (HUO) but still majority Australian family owned and operated, the Huon Aquaculture Group produces over 17,000 tonnes of fresh salmon per year and is recognised globally as being the premium producer of fresh and smoked salmon products. Huon currently employs approximately 520 people with employees in most states of Australia and both Peter and Frances Bender remain involved in all areas of the business on a daily basis.

Visit the Huon site HERE.

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