A ONE million dollar water efficiency project undertaken by Warragul company Flavorite Tomatoes with assistance from the Victorian government has been completed.
Pictured: Flavorite director Mark Millis, Narracan MP Gary Blackwood and Premier Denis Napthine at Flavorite this morning. All photos by William PJ Kulich.
The project, which received $460,000 in state government funding, saw Flavorite construct a 50 megalitre lined and covered dam and install new sterilisation and water filtration equipment.
Premier Denis Napthine visited Flavorite this morning to reaffirm the state government’s support of the hydroponic tomato company.
“This is agriculture at its cutting edge,” Dr Napthine said.
“Field tomatoes use 60 litres of water for every kilogram of tomatoes produced, in this facility we’re using about 23 litres, with this water saving efficiency it will come down to 18 liters per litre of water per (kilogram of) tomato.”
When asked by The Warragul Citizen if more projects of this type were on the horizon for the area Dr Napthine did not mention any specific projects.
“We have through the Regional Growth Fund a number of projects that we fund across a range of areas to grow jobs and productivity of jobs through regional and rural Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
“Through the regional growth fund… we’ll invest in companies like Flavorite, we’ll invest in other companies throughout regional and rural Victoria that give us benefits in terms of job creation and economic opportunities.”
Flavorite director Mark Millis said the state government’s contribution would allow more effective use of land.
“This is an extremely visionary contribution because that investment is in the future of hydroponics,” Mr Millis said.
“We could still be on this land in 10 or 20 years time producing twice the amount of tomatoes without using much more water.”
Flavorite presently employs people for 205 full time positions and the expansion is expected to double its workforce as it doubles production as part of its latest expansion.
Baw Baw Shire mayor Murray Cook also reaffirmed the council’s support of the company.
“This areas has been declared a growth corridor… And this is a good example of what we want to see,” Cr Cook said.
“Baw Baw Shire has an ideal climate for hydroponics. We look forward to continuing to support [this] business into the future.”
Pictured: Baw Baw mayor Murray Cook.
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