Assistance for Guyra tomato business

A $45 MILLION expansion of a Guyra business that will result in more than 170 new jobs has received a welcome boost from the state government.

A GROWING CONCERN: The official opening of the new staff entrance at Guyra’s Costa Tomato Exchange are, from left, project engineering manager Rodney Merritt, member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, and Costa payroll officer Baillie Rolff.

A GROWING CONCERN: The official opening of the new staff entrance at Guyra’s Costa Tomato Exchange are, from left, project engineering manager Rodney Merritt, member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner, and Costa payroll officer Baillie Rolff.

Guyra’s Costa Tomato Exchange hosted Deputy Premier and Regional Infrastructure and Services Minister Andrew Stoner and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall yesterday, where they were given a firsthand tour of the innovative expansion project’s progress.

Mr Stoner said two new glasshouses would help Costa toward its long-term goal of producing 21 million kilograms of tomatoes a year to supply the Australian domestic market and provide a massive boost to employment.

“After visiting Guyra’s Costa Tomato Exchange just six months ago, I’m pleased to be back announcing this important support from the NSW government,” Mr Stoner said, offering $1.5 million in assistance.

“Significant financial support through our Regional Industries Investment Fund means the first stage of the project will start up on schedule and create additional employment opportunities for local workers.

“Costa is investing around $45 million in this first stage, which is expected to create around 171 new jobs in the area.”

Mr Marshall said the first stage of the Guyra Tomato Exchange Pty Ltd’s expanded operations would increase from 20 hectares to 30 hectares and become a vital link in its parent company, Costa Group’s, national trade in food.

“Costa is a leading national producer of avocados, bananas, berries, citrus, table grapes, mushrooms and tomatoes. I’m pleased we are helping the company cement its operations in Guyra,” Mr Marshall said.

“Employing up to 6000 workers during peak harvest periods, Costa has an economic presence in over 30 regional and rural communities across every state of Australia.

“Tomatoes grown at Guyra will be supplied to Australian supermarket chains and independent grocers nationally. Costa is going to target the premium varieties of tomatoes in its two new five-hectare glasshouses.

“The NSW government’s assistance package will help ensure vital shared infrastructure works are completed on time.”

Mr Marshall said the government was more than happy to back a company that showed its faith in small towns, like Guyra, and believed this was just the start of further development in the district.

“Expansion such as this affects the whole region,” Mr Marshall said.

“The multiplier effect of those additional 171 jobs means more money is circulating in the economy.

“It positively affects the whole region and is really exciting. The Costas have shown good faith in the community, and if this expansion works well, it will open the door to further expansion down the track.”

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