Popular South Australian brand, Haigh’s Chocolates, officially opened its new chocolate factory in Mile End last week, just in time for Easter (what impeccable timing!).
This new factory, located just five minutes away from the Haigh’s Visitor Centre, is the largest, most modern, cocoa bean processing plant in Australia. The addition of the factory’s state-of-the-art facilities, footing a $15 million bill, will increase Haigh’s Chocolates’ production capacity from 700 tonnes of chocolate a year to 2000 tonnes.
Having been a family business since its establishment in 1915 by Alfred E. Haigh, Haigh’s Chocolates is now run by great-grandson, Alister Haigh.
“It’s a far cry from when I started with the company forty years ago and we were making chocolate in Parkside. It was very much a one-person band and I think when I moved into the chocolate world, we were making, on average, about one tonne of chocolate a week so we’ve now gone to over thirty tonnes capacity a week. It’s great to see the change,” says Alister.
Mayor of the City of West Torrens, John Trainer, declared the factory officially open, with a cutting of a golden ribbon on Thursday, commending the Haigh family for their contribution to the state and beyond.
“In South Australia, Haigh’s is synonymous with chocolates. It’s also associated, of course, with one of our most iconic landmarks – Beehive Corner. They’re increasingly well-known across Australia as they spread their wings through New South Wales and Victoria,” says Mayor Trainer.
The new factory opening coincides with Haigh’s Chocolates’ celebrations of 25 years of their iconic Easter Bilby, with more than 800,000 chocolate bilbies made since they were first introduced to the market back in 1993. Every year, Haigh’s donates part of their Easter Bilby proceeds to Rabbit-Free Australia. This not only raises awareness about the environmental issues caused by the overpopulation of rabbits in the Australian wild, but also about the resulting impact on native Australian animals, including the bilby.
Haigh’s Chocolates’ Easter range is already available in all Haigh’s stores Australia-wide as well as online. With Easter being the busiest time of year for the Haigh’s chocolate production team, you can expect many of their stores to be still up and running over the Easter public holidays.
Words by Geena Ho
WHERE: 70 London Rd, Mile End