Costa Brothers' Swan Reach almond factory opens, creating 35 jobs

They were dancing the nutcracker at Swan Reach on Friday as an almond processing plant opened for business.

Costa Brothers Hullers and Shellers will employ up to 35 people at the new facility, and has expanded its orchards in the area to supply it with produce.

The company already grew almonds in the area, but has expanded its orchards to supply the new facility.

State Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said local food and accommodation businesses had benefited during the facility's construction phase, which created up to 100 temporary jobs.

There have been immediate positive spin-offs for Swan Reach.

Geoff Brock

Member for Barker Tony Pasin was excited about the facility's water-saving design, which would support the local environment and the black swans for which the town was named.

"The Murray River is the lifeblood of this community in so many ways, so we must ensure that we safeguard it so that future generations can view and enjoy the plentiful bounties of this river system," he said.

"This facility has made excellent use of water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river."

Federal Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash said the presence of industries and businesses helped build the kind of communities residents' children and grandchildren would stay in or return to.

"I am excited about the opportunities that have opened up to local industry thanks to this investment," she said.

The federal government funded the almond processing plant to the tune of almost $1.9 million via the Regional Development and Innovation Fund.

Funding recipients were allocated by Primary Industries and Regions SA.

Costa Brothers had planned to put in about $6 million of its own money, operations manager Tony Costa said last year.

The Jobs 4 Murraylands program, a collaboration between Regional Development Australia and the Murraylands Food Alliance, was involved in training workers for the facility.

The Standard sought comment from Costa Brothers, but did not receive a response before Tuesday’s edition went to press.