According to NORCO chief executive officer Brett Kelly, the co-operative was committed to the community and had allocated a significant amount to upgrade its facilities. “Initially this is a three-year project and in the first financial year we will spend around $7 million improving and updating plant equipment at the ice cream factory,” he said. “We have $14 million marked for the first two years and then more capital for the third year.”
Mr Kelly said this investment strategy would give NORCO more clout in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
“These investments will take us to the next level of creating better technical efficiencies and growing business volume,” he said. “The co-op is trading very well and ice cream in Lismore is a big part of the business, so this will increase our business capabilities.”
Mr Kelly said as the largest contract packer of ice cream in Australia for supermarkets, NORCO had a bright future. “NORCO is ahead of budgeted profit by 12% and we are paying the highest farm gate prices to our members,” he said. “As we have no external shareholders, it all goes back to the farmers.”