S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Regional Development Minister, Geoff Brock today announced a $200,000 grant for hydroponic herb growing and packing facility – Holla-Fresh – to support an upgrade of its Tantanoola facilities.
“The grant has been made possible through the Regional Development Fund which has been significantly increased from $1.6 million annually up to $15 million a year as part of my agreement with the Premier,” Mr Brock said.
“The main purpose of the fund is to boost economic activity and generate jobs growth in the regions with Holla-Fresh estimating the upgrade will create 12 new jobs over the next three years and a further 6 from 2017 to 2020.
“The upgrade – which will incorporate Holla-Fresh’s automated growing system into a state-of-the-art glasshouse – will provide a significant economic boost for the region.
“Holla-Fresh is a family owned producer of hydroponically grown and packed culinary herbs and leafy vegetables, and supplies major supermarkets Woolworths, Coles and IGA across South Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria,” Mr Brock said.
“This project will see the development of an additional 1.6 hectares of land which will consist of propagation, pest control and growing sections.
“I recently visited Holla-Fresh and was impressed by the quality of the existing facilities and the enormous potential for further company growth with investment in infrastructure on the site.
“This project will not only provide significant job security for existing employees, but will also create new job opportunities and new partnerships along the supply chain as it works with local businesses to provide labour and materials.
“Holla-Fresh’s unique automation system has already proven itself with outstanding growth rates and growing capacity than in traditional plastic greenhouses,” Mr Brock said.
Ian Lines from Holla-Fresh said the company’s next step forward was to incorporate the system into a glasshouse, resulting in even greater product quality and growth
“This expansion and upgrade is crucial for us to meet increasing customer orders and high quality product demands, and maintain our status as one of the leading fresh herb growers in Australia.
“Additional bays within the new glasshouse will include a state of the art propagation area and specialised pest control area to maximise pest eradication in a safe manner, ensuring neighbouring crop protection and employees’ health and safety,” Mr Lines said.
“The grant is one of six projects across the State to receive grants totalling more than $1.1 million through the latest round of the State Government’s Regional Development Fund Stream 2 allocation,” Mr Brock said.