THE Goulburn Valley Food Action Committee is preparing to make a second offer for the Heinz Girgarre factory early next month.
Heinz shut its factory and axed 146 jobs earlier this month but the community is optimistic a plan to create a co-op will be successful.
Committee chairman Les Cameron told weeklytimesnow Heinz had promised documents detailing boundaries and equipment to be left at the site would be delivered by the end of January.
The co-op plans to make an offer on February 3.
Mr Cameron said we believe people will pay $50 to be members of the co-op because "enough people care about food security''.
He said tomato growers had shown the most interest but the factory would be capable of also processing fruit.
Mr Cameron said some workers had taken temporary jobs with other processors in the region hoping to return to the site to work when the co-op took control.
Regional and Rural Development Opposition spokeswoman Jacinta Allan blasted the Government today for not helping the co-op negotiate with Heinz.
"The committee has been working hard to negotiate with Heinz to secure the plant and equipment, but needs to be actively backed by the Baillieu-Ryan Government to secure the local plant and create jobs," Ms Allan said.
"When will Mr Baillieu realise he needs to take charge of the state’s economy and secure jobs for regional Victorians?"
Mr Cameron said he could not be critical of the government because it had provided funding for a feasibility study.
The co-op if successful hopes to be in the factory by May 1 and producing small product runs by the end of the year and be in full production in March 2013.
A spokeswoman for manufacturing minister Richard Dalla-Riva said the government announced funding for a feasibility study of possible sites for a processing facility which was not limited to the former Heinz site.
"It is disappointing that in January 2012 Ms Allan who purports to be concerned for the community remains wholly unaware of this initiative that could pave the way for a community owned food processing cooperative in the Goulburn Valley," she said.