Australia’s first commercial popcorn factory will be established in the city of Huhtamitsu, in the heart of the southern city of Hobart, the company behind the project told the ABC.
Huhtamashi is home to the country’s first Popcorn Factory, the first of its kind in the country, and the first plant of its type in Australia, according to the company.
It will produce about 4,000 kilograms of popcorn a year and the company is expecting to grow that to 8,000 kg by the end of 2019.
The plant, called Huhtaminji, will be run by Huhtamicas Food Group, which also owns the Huhtaman Restaurant Group and the Hobart Crofton, a chain of restaurants and cafes.
“This is a project that is really about our country’s future and it’s really about bringing some of the great people that live here to work,” Huhtamias food group chief executive, John Huhta, told the company’s shareholders.
The company also said it was seeking $200 million in private funding to build the plant and that it had secured $1.6 million in a new loan from the Chinese government.
“It’s about bringing together people who know what it’s like to be a small-scale farmer, small-sized family business and also the people who live in Hobart and the community that we represent,” Mr Huhtaji said.
“We’re very excited about the project and really want to make sure we can do it right.”
The project will create an industry in the state, which has long struggled to produce high quality popcorn, with about one million tonnes of the crop going to China.
Huhhtamai said it would employ around 5,000 people and the plant would employ about 1,000, as well as 1,200 apprentices and staff.
The project is expected to generate about $1 billion in annual sales for the state of Tasmania, which is the largest in the nation.