Charlie’s juice receives expansion grant

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th June 2010

Charlie’s JuicesCharlie’s Group Australia, producer of Charlie’s brand juices and smoothies and Phoenix Organics soft drinks, has received a $120,000 grant from the South Australian government to increase production capacity.

Charlie’s Group, based in New Zealand, took over the Renmark orchard and factory of Australia’s Gallard and Mirage Group in 2007, to form Charlie’s Group Australia. The move allowed the company to produce its juices close to a long-term assured fruit supply, and to focus its New Zealand operations on the glass-bottled Phoenix Organics range.

South Australian Regional Development Minister Michael O’Brien said the grant, from the Regional Development Infrastructure Fund (RDIF), means more local people will be employed and more local fruit will be purchased.

“The proposed expansion will increase the number of full-time employees by eight positions to between 20 and 23, and increase the value of purchased fruit to $3.4 million by 2011-12,” O’Brien said.

“The company plans to increase its blending and chilling capability, install a bulk packing line, a glass bottling line and a laboratory. As a result, the CGA factory requires nearly a threefold increase in electrical supply to underpin these initiatives.”

Charlie’s has already invested $2 million in the Renmark operation, with an estimated further cost of $239,474 for the power upgrade alone.