WIMMERA business Luv-a-Duck will expand its operations into Ballarat, creating 30 jobs in a $20 million investment.
The new facility in the Ballarat West Employment Zone will focus on retail-ready duck meat products.
Luv-a-Duck chief executive Daryl Bussel said Nhill would continue to be the base for Luv-a-Duck’s primary processing operations.
“This expansion will change operations in Nhill slightly,” he said.
“All processing operations – from slaughter onwards – will still be undertaken at Nhill.
“The business got so big that we were struggling to get resources to grow and expand.
“We’re going to spend $5 million to upgrade facilities at Nhill over the next 18 months. That will include new equipment and a more environmentally friendly freezer system.
“The upgrades will help us cope with the high number of birds we’re processing.”
Related: Nhill refugees a model for Australia
Mr Bussel said Luv-a-Duck sourced its birds from more than 30 farms in the Nhill region.
“Five of which are ours and the rest are contracted,” he said.
“The new Ballarat facility will be primarily used for cutting up meat and creating our tray range of products.
“We’re also moving some operations from our Port Melbourne warehouse to Ballarat.”
He said this expansion into the Ballarat market would help the business prepare for growth in the future.
“We decided that we needed to take a long-term vision with this. If we don’t do something now, then it will prohibit our Nhill plant to keep on growing,” he said.
“We’re really excited about this new facility. This is our 50th year and it’s a fantastic way to celebrate.”
Construction will start at the end of this year, with the facility due to be running by the end of 2019.