We strongly welcome yesterday’s announcement of a new partnership between Coles and SPC Ardmona.
Recently, a number of our editorials have opined Shepparton, to its benefit, is no longer a one-company town.
Our businesses are diversifying with relatively new business models such as Seedforce and Rubicon building on the horticultural expertise of the region to create value-added exports for sale across the globe.
Service industries, both public and private, have grown at a rapid rate.
Greater Shepparton’s biggest employers now include the education, health and local government sectors in their ranks, providing employment opportunities across many roles.
But this does not mean SPC Ardmona has lost importance, simply that the Shepparton community has grown beyond one iconic brand.
Greater Shepparton has also arguably grown because of the decades of support SPC has pumped into our community.
How many of our educated adults helped supplement their student incomes with seasonal employment on the lines or among the fruit trees?
How many local families have been supported for generations by various types of employment at SPC or its suppliers?
Greater Shepparton is no longer a one-company town, but SPC remains very important.
News last year that owner Coca-Cola Amatil was putting SPC up for sale brought with it understandable worry within our community.
That worry was exacerbated when the value of the company was written down to zero.
While the write-down had more to do with accounting methodology than the viability of the business, valuing SPC at zero had a negative psychological impact on the Greater Shepparton community.
Deals such as that announced between SPC and Coles yesterday should help not only alleviate that worry, but also demonstrate we continue to be a highly viable and lucrative horticultural region.