Sunday History Photo / Qld

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 06:06
ThreadID: 103129 Views:4963 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Golden Circle began operations in 1947 after construction of the main canning factory at Northgate was completed. The new facility was opened by the then Premier of Queensland, the Hon Edward Hanlon. The company was originally called 'Queensland Tropical Fruit Products', with 'Golden Circle' used as their brand name.
The company processed and canned pineapples and produced fruit jams. Over the years, production has expanded to include other canned fruit and vegetables, fruit cordials, juices, carbonated beverages and baby food. Initially producing around 40,000 tonnes of canned pineapple annually, in addition to some canned fruit salad, tropical fruit chutneys and fruit juice cordials. Today the Northgate cannery produces over around 150,000 tonnes per year of canned pineapple, fruit juices and cordials.

Pineapples have been at the heart of the Golden Circle brand since its earliest beginnings. It is thought that pineapples were first grown commercially in Queensland in the 1840s. With its rich soils and near perfect growing conditions, Queensland has become synonymous with Australian-grown pineapple. With new techniques such as Living Mulch and Conservation Tillage producing benefits such as reduced soil erosion, improved soil structure and less fuel usage, Golden Circle products are also minimising their impact on the environment.
As of 2009, Golden Circle ceased to be an Australian Owned Company. The board and shareholders of GC agreed and sold all of their shares for 313% more than they were trading at prior to the offer from US Corporation, Heinz.
Golden Circle was one of few remaining Australian Food Companies being sold by Australian farmers to International Companies.
Australian farmers supply more than 180,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables annually to the company for processing. The fruit crops, of which pineapple is the largest, come from the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Maryborough, Woodbury, and northern Queensland. Vegetables are largely sourced from the Lockyer Valley west of Brisbane. Crops that are not grown in Queensland are supplied by the southern states.
Golden Circle operates the world's largest steam peeler and new beetroot processing lines, a A$20m food hall enabling a move into the development of new products such as baby food and a Tetra Pak plant that produces more than 42 million litres of fruit juices and drinks annually. Golden Circle also operates a robotic blow-moulding facility capable of producing 50 million plastic cordial and other beverage bottles every year.
Golden Circle employs a large number of people, which varies seasonally between 700 and 1,700.

In addition to its main processing operation in Brisbane, Golden Circle also owns the Original Juice Co. plant at Mill Park, on Melbourne's northern outskirts, and a fresh fruit packing operation in Griffith, New South Wales.

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Reply By: mr fixit - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 08:14

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 08:14
Good story
I had a uncle work at Northgate in the 50' s
AnswerID: 514423

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 16:22

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 16:22
Thanks Doug, another interesting piece of history. It is interesting to note the segregation of work, women on the processing line and the males in the loading area. The males were probably paid more than the women and the women probably had to resign if they married? We have moved a long way since then! Cheers, Leigh
AnswerID: 514443

Reply By: Povertypete - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 19:16

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 19:16
G'day Doug

Worked there in the mid 70's as a foreman punching holes in pineapples and saw a funny sight. It was a stinking hot day and one of the girls came to work in a T shirt and no bra. Every time she reached out to pick up a pineapple for trimming ,her right breast would fall out. She would then use her glove covered hand dripping with juice to push the breast back into place. All the operators (naturally male) were ogling from the catwalk above when the forewoman came and said to her 'Would you please stop doing that , people have to eat those pineapples". The incidents were reduced but did not stop completely. That was a good day at work

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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:38

Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 20:38
Very sweet Pineapples eh.

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