A national foods wholesaler has signalled a vote of confidence in the Latrobe Valley by investing $13m into establishing a warehouse in Morwell to create 40 local jobs.
Bidfood Australia is building its distribution warehouse on Kirwin Road to distribute groceries, chilled and dry goods to Gippsland hospitality industries, schools and restaurant chains.
The company has 50 warehouses in Australia, but is expanding its footprint into the Valley to gain more centralised access to its Gippsland customers.
Bidfood is currently using its Dandenong warehouse to distribute products into Gippsland, but it expects the Morwell expansion will grow its revenue by between 10 to 20 per cent a year.
National sales manager Simon Cleur said the Morwell warehouse would require truck drivers, warehouse staff and customer service roles with recruitment to start towards the end of the year.
Mr Cleur said he hoped the warehouse would be completed by November and be up and running in the New Year.
“We are seeing a lot of upscale in Gippsland and we think it will grow as its burgeoning area and it will flourish,” Mr Cleur said.
“We wanted somewhere central to service South and East Gippsland and Morwell has access to these areas. We’ve pulled the trigger on the site and we want things to happen quickly.”
Mr Cleur said he hoped the Morwell warehouse could also allow the company to distribute products from Gippsland producers including beef and cheese.
Bidfood was one of three Gippsland companies to receive a grant under a state government Regional Jobs Fund to help grow jobs – along with Bambach Cables in Rosedale and LV Shade
LV Shade Sails produces and installs commercial and domestic shades, blinds and awnings from its Traralgon workshop.
The company is looking to triple its capacity at another newly-established Traralgon site that will create seven new full-time jobs.
Regional Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas met with Mr Cleur last week to announce the grant funding while stating the importance of supporting industries to grow jobs in the regions.
“These are great Gippsland businesses offering good secure jobs to locals, we want to support businesses in regional Victoria to create jobs for local families,” Ms Thomas said.