The history of Laragon stretches back to 1972, when almonds were first planted on 300 hectares at Lindsay Point, near Renmark. Local growers combined with Adelaide and Melbourne investors to provide finance for this exciting development. Since then, the plantation has transformed a small area of pastoral grazing country into a vibrant, highly productive industry offering employment to the local community and a significantly positive economic impact on the area.
Production gradually increased, and in 1978 the growers built a hulling and shelling plant at Lindsay Point.
Jubilee Almonds commenced the development of a 460-hectare almond orchard at Overland Corner, near Waikerie in 1988.
In 1995, Lemilet and Jubilee agreed to form a new company, Laragon Pty Ltd, to take over the processing operation of Lemilet. Included in this arrangement was the commitment to build a state-of-the-art design plant to be commissioned for the 1997 harvest.
The world class hulling, shelling and cleaning plant was installed and commissioned, ready for the 1997 harvest, at a cost of $2.4 million. The design of the plant generated 3 times the processing capacity of it’s predecessor. As with everything at Laragon, quality was at the forefront in the plant’s design, as quality is seen to be the key to the development of both domestic and international markets.
The 1997 season saw 4,500 tonnes of kernel and 200 tonne of in-shell processed through the new plant.
Holding to its desire of ‘Quality’ processing, Laragon gained a Food Quality Accreditation in 1998. Ten years on from the installation of the upgrade and Laragon again looked to expand, as increased plantings and subsequent product needing to be processed, placed pressure on the facility. 2005 saw the initial plans for expansion and split flow hulling & shelling drawn. In October of 2006, the company Managing Director and Manager visited 14 huller shellers in the United States, with the aim of cementing thoughts for the future expansion. 2010 saw the completion of the 3rd and final stage of Laragon’s $2 million expansion. This gave the facility the ability to process in excess of 10,000 tonnes per year.
In 2013, an additional in-shell deck and colour sorter have further improved the capability of producing finished quality in-shell almonds.