Arnotts, Linfox partner in 67 million-dollar facility
Arnott’s has invested $37 million to install a new, state-of-the-art biscuit production line at its Virginia bakery in Brisbane, and Linfox has built a dedicated, $30 million distribution centre next door.
Arnott’s Virginia bakery produces around 37,000 tonnes of some of Australia’s favourite biscuits each year including Monte Carlo, Scotch Finger, Shortbread Cream and Family Assorted. The new line, which will be operational by June 2010, will boost the bakery’s capacity by a further 10,000 tonnes per annum.
According to president Campbell Arnott’s Asia Pacific Mark Alexander, the $37 million investment signals the company’s commitment to local manufacturing and continued growth through innovation.
“In the past dozen years, Arnott’s has invested more than $420 million upgrading its manufacturing network here in Australia, which employs more than 3,500 people and produces more than 100,000 tonnes of Arnott’s iconic biscuits every year for local and export markets including Japan, the USA and the South Pacific,” said Mr Alexander.
“The new line, measuring around the length of three football fields, will boast the latest in biscuit manufacturing technology, from mixing through to forming, baking and case packing. The oven alone will provide us with twice the capacity of an existing oven, allowing us to better keep up with growing consumer demand for our products.”
During the past 12 months, Arnott’s has experienced solid growth, primarily driven by new flavour extensions to much-loved brands like Tim Tam, and the launch of new, better-for-you products like Vita-Weat Grain Snacks.
“Our products represent the three things consumers are looking for – great taste, great quality and great value – especially when times are tough and every cent counts,” said Mr Alexander.
Arnott’s Virginia bakery employs around 900 staff. The company anticipates the new line will result in approximately 25-30 new roles in the first year of operation, increasing to a possible 50-60 over the course of the next couple of years.
Dedicated Linfox distribution centre next door
The new $30 million dollar centre, which was purpose-built by Linfox for Arnott’s, allows the company to more efficiently manage inventory and process customer orders.
Connected to the bakery by an air bridge, the centre utilises high-speed sorting equipment, innovative post-sort accumulating conveyors, and a high-tech palletising system that incorporates four state-of-the-art robots to receive, store and manage the warehousing and distribution of around 6,000 cartons of finished Arnott’s goods every hour.
Founder of the logistics firm Lindsay Fox said the new distribution centre, which employs 60 people, represented Linfox’s and Arnott’s joint commitment to leveraging new technologies to support local growth and innovation.
Campbell Arnott’s Asia Pacific is a division of the Campbell Soup Company. Arnott’s was established in 1865. It operates three manufacturing sites in Australia: Arnott’s Huntingwood in Sydney; Arnott’s Marleston in Adelaide; and Arnott’s Virginia in Brisbane, the latter of which was officially opened in 1988 after relocating from Coronation Drive in Milton.
Each year, Arnott’s spends around $300 million purchasing raw ingredients and services from local farmers and businesses including 70,000 tonnes of flour and grains from areas including the Darling Downs, Moree, Riverina, South Australia and Western Australia; 25,000 tonnes of sugar from far North Queensland; 3,900 tonnes of dairy products from Victoria; and 405 tonnes of canola oil sourced from canola crops in Western New South Wales.
Linfox has grown from humble beginnings to become the largest privately owned supply chain solutions company in the Asia Pacific region. Lindsay Fox began his business in Melbourne in 1956 with one truck, delivering soft drinks in the summer months and solid fuel in winter.
Today, the Linfox Logistics business operates more than 1.8 million square metres of warehousing and nearly 5,000 vehicles across 11 countries. More than 14,000 people deliver sophisticated supply chain services to a wide range of leading business names including Arnott’s.