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New biosecurity precinct to help SA fresh produce industry

Construction has commenced on a new $50 million biosecurity precinct at the SA Produce Market in Pooraka to help create a more affordable, competitive, and sustainable fresh produce industry for the state.

The state-of-the-art construction is the first multi-treatment and inspection facility to support the South Australian horticultural industry in its fight against the invasive fruit fly plant pest.

The current fruit fly outbreaks in the Riverland and Salisbury North have meant that produce cannot be sent from these restricted locations if not inspected and treated when fruit fly is detected.

The new facility at the SA Produce Market on Burma Road, Pooraka, will provide treatment and pressure cooling technology to eliminate pests.

CEO of SA Produce Market, Angelo Demasi, said he is delighted that the project has come to fruition.

“South Australia is currently facing challenges with fruit fly outbreaks. This nation-leading biosecurity precinct will allow us to inspect, quarantine, and treat produce from affected areas, safeguarding our industry and ensuring a stable supply chain,” said Demasi.

“The new facilities will enable the industry to use advanced post-harvest treatment technology, essential for exporting South Australian produce globally. It is a significant step towards making our produce more competitive and sustainable.”

Currently, producers can only send untreated produce to the eastern states.

Once in operation, the new facility will reduce transport costs, time delays, and subsequent wastage, which will improve affordability for consumers and profitability for local producers.

In addition to creating savings for consumers by helping to reduce the cost of produce at local supermarkets, the precinct will encourage a boom in exports.

The precinct is expected to unlock an estimated additional $100 million of fresh produce exports over a five-year period.

Due for completion in April 2025, the facility will also create 172 direct and indirect ongoing jobs and is set to play a vital role in protecting and expanding the state’s $1.3 billion horticulture industry.

The industry-led project is funded through $36 million from the horticulture industry, $9.8 million in federal funds, and a $4.2 million grant from the South Australian Government.

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