AUSVEG has welcomed today’s announcement that the Victorian Government will be providing assistance to Kagome Australia, the nation’s largest tomato processor, which will allow it to expand its Echuca operations.
The expansion, worth an estimated $21 million, is expected to replace 7,000 tonnes of imported tomato paste – worth about $6.5 million – with product from Australia.
“The expansion of these facilities will provide a new avenue for Australian grown tomatoes and carrots, and it is hoped that vegetable growers will benefit from this new demand which will be created,” said AUSVEG Spokesperson, Hugh Gurney.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“Many Australian tomato and vegetable processors such as Rosella and Windsor Farms have been forced to shut their doors in the past two years, largely due to skyrocketing imports, so to see a vegetable processor in Australia expanding their operations is exciting news for the industry,” said Mr Gurney.
In 2011-12, over $41 million of prepared tomato product, such as tomato paste, was imported into Australia.
“Kagome Australia must ensure that this expansion is sustainable and results in long-term contracts being placed with Australian vegetable and tomato growers,” said Mr Gurney.
The Kagome expansion will allow for the production of carrot concentrate, a significant amount of which is expected to be sent to markets in Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
“It is exciting to see that Kagome has identified overseas markets for some of this Australian grown product, as the Australian vegetable industry is actively pursuing export opportunities,” said Mr Gurney.
“Expanding our vegetable export markets will help guarantee the future of the Australian vegetable growing industry and allow for Australian based growers and processors such as Kagome, to expand their operations with confidence,” said Mr Gurney.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Gurney, Spokesperson, AUSVEG.
Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0410 047 432 E-mail: email@example.com