Mooroopna to shut, but CCA to build SPC Ardmona as premium brand

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th August 2011

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) has confirmed its decision y to close the SPC Ardmona (SPCA) plant in Mooroopna in a statement released today.

The company will shift production of premium packaged fruit and vegetable products to its Shepparton and Kyabram facilities.

CCA’s board met yesterday, August 8 2011, to discuss the future of the SPCA business.

CCA’s Group Managing Director, Terry Davis, said that the decision to “right-size” the brand was a response to the high Australian dollar and increasing competition from cheap imported packaged fruit and vegetable products.

“We remain firmly committed to maintaining our manufacturing base in Australia and by proactively restructuring the SPC Ardmona business we believe we can lower its cost base to help regain its competitive position in the market place,” said Davis.

“The strengthening of the Australian dollar over the past three years has regrettably led to a significant increase in the volume of cheap packaged fruit and vegetable products being imported into Australia. It has also led to a material increase in the share of the private label category which is being supplied primarily by imported products.

“The stronger dollar has also negatively impacted the competitiveness of SPC Ardmona’s export business with exports halving over the past four years.”

Davis said SPCA will focus on products in the higher growth snacking market.

“We have a number of new products in the pipeline with a strategy to increase our presence in the growing snack category by leveraging the Goulburn Valley and SPC brands into a broader range of snacking categories and by further expanding our range of brands into the convenience and other channels.”

According to the statement, approximately 150 employees from across the SPCA business will be offered alternative employment opportunities within CCA’s beverage business.

“We will offer every single affected SPC Ardmona employee alternative employment in CCA’s beverage operations throughout Australia. We are also working with the Victorian Government to ensure all affected employees have the opportunity to retrain or build on their current skills through government subsidised training places.”