As Australia's last major frozen vegetable processor, we are proud of the investment we continue to make in Australian agriculture and food manufacturing.
In addition to completing significant investments in recent years at our Tasmanian manufacturing facilities in Devonport and Ulverstone, we have invested $41 million in a state-of-the-art controlled potato storage facility in Powranna. The facility provides potato storage for local growers, enabling them to harvest potatoes when they are at their prime minimising the potential weather impacts on crops left in the ground, making potato farming a more lucrative option.
The Powranna facility is the first in a broader $80 million investment in potato storage across Tasmania, with facilities also being constructed at Mount Joy and Wynard and are due for completion early next year.
At the facility's official opening, the Honourable Mark Shelton MP, Liberal Member for Lyons, who was representing the Premier, congratulated Simplot on the opening of its state-of-the-art storage facility.
“This significant investment by Simplot into its operations in Northern Tasmania is another sign of confidence in Tasmania’s economy,”
“From supporting Tasmanian growers and the broader potato industry to feeding families all over the country, Simplot is one of Tasmania’s many success stories and I thank them for their dedication to our State.” Mr Shelton said.
Simplot's Global Food President, Graham Dugdale, said, "Building the sheds here in Powranna made commercial sense when over 80,000 tonnes of beautiful Tasmanian potatoes are sourced from nearby growers."
The facility exemplifies how Simplot continues to partner with growers and find new ways to enhance yield and identify mutually beneficial improvements throughout the value chain. The innovative design, combined with excellent temperature, humidity, and airflow control, enables 36,000 tonnes of potatoes to be stored for up to nine months. The state-of-the-art temperature, humidity, and ventilation-controlled facility helps prevent sprouting, rotting, and other spoilage, which are common in less advanced facilities.
"Our customers and consumers value Australian sourced, grown and processed food, and this investment continues to support our focus on producing quality potato products under Simplot's Birds Eye and Edgell brands. There is a real understanding that Australian-grown and produced food represents high-quality standards. We are delighted that through investments such as this, we are continuing to support our customers, Australian farmers, and communities," added Dugdale.
Annually, Simplot sources more than 300,000 tonnes of potatoes from Tasmanian growers, which are processed at Simplot’s Ulverstone manufacturing facility.