The Coffs Coast's blueberry powerhouse, Oz Group, is a cooperative with a membership of over 140 growers located from Grafton to Macksville. Oz Group's blueberry packing house in Coffs Harbour is also one of the most sophisticated in the country after a two-year, federally funded $2.1 million upgrade.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan: "The technology Oz Group now uses to pack and distribute berries is impressive with fruit being photographed and graded automatically by a sorting machine capable of photographing and categorising 260 berries per second.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government's investment in this job-making infrastructure would provide long term benefits to the Coffs Coast region.
Oz Group CEO Adam Bianchi showing Pat Conaghan the new KATO grading and sorting machine
"In addition to the increased capabilities and cost efficiencies within the pack house, this investment will also enable Oz Group to be competitive in export markets and help distribute domestic supply," Mr McCormack said. "By supporting 12 jobs in construction and creating an expected 12 ongoing jobs after completion, in addition to using local businesses and supplies, this project has helped to bring economic prosperity to Coffs Harbour."
Oz Group Chief Executive Officer Adam Bianchi said the advanced fruit grading, packing and handling equipment complete with metal detectors and checkweighers has brought the Coffs Harbour facility into the top tier of pack houses throughout the country.