The Hodgman Liberal Government recognises that agriculture is one of Tasmania’s competitive strengths and a key pillar of the Tasmanian economy.
Jane Howlett, representing Premier Will Hodgman, today officially opened a major new facility developed by leading Tasmanian salad producer, Houston’s Farm.
The $5.8 million facility is a state-of-the art, custom built baby leaf production centre at the company’s Forcett Farm. By developing the 40 hectare Dodge Farm, the company has created an 80 hectare production unit that will underpin the company’s national supermarket supply contracts and new export growth to Hong Kong.
The development at Forcett will provide 15 direct jobs and promote wider regional employment opportunities in the Sorell district, both for permanent workers and for casual workers seeking extra hours.
The development is utilising the latest in farming technology and will be a great base to train future Tasmanian farmers.
The expansion and development will also contribute to the Government’s ambitious Agrivision 2050 target, to see the farm gate value of Tasmanian agriculture reach $10 billion by 2050.
Houston’s has been creating innovative products for some 30 years, and has pioneered many practices and techniques that now see Tasmanian salads on shop shelves across Australia.
The company is also now seeking to expand export markets and participated in the Government’s recent trade mission to Asia, building on the foothold it has already established in Hong Kong.
The State Government has provided a loan of $1.4 million to assist with the expansion and a grant of $700,000.
In addition, the Government continues its strong support for irrigation – with the Forcett facility reliant on the expansion of Tasmanian Irrigation’s South East Irrigation Scheme.
The Hodgman majority Liberal Government will continue to support growth in our agri-food sector which is a major economic contributor and job creator.