$55 million South Australian glasshouse – Stage 2

A $25 million expansion of Australia’s largest truss tomato glasshouse, incorporating innovative pad and fan climate control technology, is nearing completion and expected to be officially opened on 22 February 2011. Stage 2 of the d’VineRipe world-class facility at Two Wells, north of Adelaide, South Australia, will culminate in a $55 million-plus glasshouse operation spanning some 17 hectares with the capacity to produce up to 10,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year.

d’VineRipe general manager, Leon Maree, said once the 8-hectare Stage 2 was complete in late January 2011, the entire operation would be the second largest of its kind in Australia and the largest to use pad and fan technology.

The glasshouse company – The Como Glasshouse Unit Trust trading as d’VineRipe – is a joint venture between diverse investment company The Victor Smorgon Group and fresh produce marketing company Perfection Fresh Australia.

“Stage 2 is the execution of d’VineRipe’s long-term business strategy, which has been in place since the inception of Stage 1. Stage 1, which has been fully operational since late 2007, has performed particularly well and the progression to Stage 2 was deemed a good investment,” Mr Maree said.

Dutch glasshouse construction company, van der Hoeven greenhouse builders, which designed and built Stage 1, began work on Stage 2 in mid-2010. The facility incorporates the most technologically advanced glasshouse techniques in the world, including electronic climate control systems, leading-edge infrastructure, water-efficient irrigation and innovative bulk and pre-packing lines.

Up to 100 new jobs will be created to operate the glasshouse and packing house, taking the total seasonal workforce to between 180 and 200.

d’VineRipe currently produces specialty tomatoes, including Romatherapy® baby roma tomatoes, Il Bello Rosso™ baby roma tomatoes, Saladette® truss tomatoes and d’VineRipe™ truss tomatoes.

Founded in 1978, Perfection Fresh is serviced by fresh produce growers across Australia and supplies specialised fruit and vegetable lines, including Broccolini® baby broccoli, The Original™ grape tomatoes, The Original™ golden grape tomatoes, baby red capsicums, Vine Sweet Minicaps® baby capsicums, Qukes® baby snacking cucumbers, Romatherapy® baby roma tomatoes, Royal Pom™ pomegranates, mangoes and grapes to premier food retailers, processors and distributors Australia-wide and internationally.

For further information please contact:
Mr Leon Maree, General manager, d’VineRipe®
Ph: (08) 8520 0300
Mr Michael Simonetta, Chief executive officer, Perfection Fresh Australia
Ph: (02) 9763 1877