One of Australia’s premium global producers of fresh and smoked salmon products, Huon Aquaculture, recently opened its smokehouse and product innovation center in Parramatta Creek, Tasmania. The project was part of a 10-month construction program to upgrade, centralize and future-proof the large-scale salmon producer’s operations.
After the existing site was refurbished, and an extension was added to double the business’s footprint, the new facility opened in July 2015. Now, Huon’s full range of seafood processing is together, including whole fish, fresh fish and value-added cold and hot smoked salmon production.
“The new smokehouse and new product center are part of a four-year, $200-million controlled growth strategy for the company,” says Peter Bender, Huon’s managing director. “It consolidates our operations to Tasmania, [and] delivers increased production capacity and efficiency while reducing our environmental footprint.”
Executive director and co-founder of Huon, Frances Bender, says the company wanted the new center to be one of the most advanced in the world, as well as assist Huon in its innovations in product development.
“The reputation and demand for Tasmanian produce is growing continuously, both within Australia and through international markets,” she says. “This facility is a crucial step in ensuring we are taking the highest-quality, innovative products to market, all proudly carrying the Tasmanian brand.”
Food facility designer Wiley has been a long-term partner of Huon Aquaculture and helped create the revitalized facility that is expected to deliver more than $1 million in cost savings in its first year alone. Before beginning, Wiley determined Huon Aquaculture’s floor area would have to withstand the annual production of 17,000 tonnes of fresh salmon, as well as the heavy equipment, spillages of fish and by-products, frequent cleaning, thermal shock and constant foot traffic. The new 2,500-square-meter facility would need a floor that met the highest standards of cleanliness despite these difficult operating conditions.
Wiley contacted Flowcrete Australia, part of resin flooring company Flowcrete Group, regarding its ultra-hygienic antimicrobial Flowfresh flooring range and specified the polyurethane system Flowfresh SR for the task at hand due to its ability to combine durability with an anti-slip, easy-to-clean finish.
A 6 mm layer of Flowfresh SR was applied in the smokehouse’s main processing areas, with stainless steel drainage incorporated into the finish. Different colors were used to designate each part of the site to aid navigation and reduce cross-contamination. A green floor was installed in the cold smoke slicing room, and warm buff was used for the hot smoke slicing room.
Flowfresh has recently received HACCP International certification. A key component of the flooring’s hygienic credentials is due in part to its antimicrobial agent Polygiene, which uses the natural bactericidal properties of silver to eliminate germs and microbes. The Polygiene additive is homogenously distributed throughout Flowfresh’s resin matrix, a formulation that has been tested to meet the ISO 22196 standard for measuring a surface’s antibacterial effectiveness on plastics and other non-porous surfaces.