Australia’s largest carrot grower, Western Australian based Sumich’s plans to build a $3.5m washing and packing plant at East Devonport has been approved by the Latrobe Council.
The factory which is expected to employ 60 people, is hoping to be harvesting between 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of produce by 2016 as reported by The Mercury.
The company has stated that the investment will fill a production gap and provide quality carrots during Western Australia’s off season from January to May and will not impact on existing carrot markets in the region.
Sumich’s owner, Nick Tana said the quality of WA carrots have a tendency to drop in the hotter months and the Tasmanian operation will effectively fill that gap.
“That happens to coincide with Tasmania’s best growing season, so we are going to maintain outr quality and quantity by growing carrots here in those months,” said Tana.
“Once we are underway in Tasmania, we will draw back our WA summer production.”
As part of the new development, Sumich will gain access to the Sassafras Wesley Vale Irrigation Scheme which provides over 5460 megalitres of water to farms in the region.
The announcement has come soon after Australia’s last frozen vegetable processor Simplot advised that two of its manufacturing plants including one in Devonport were under threat of closure due to the competitive landscape and unsustainably high costs.
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