A consortium of premium food and wine producers from North West Tasmania, the largest food and beverage region in Tasmania, has announced development of a $4million agricultural business park in Devonport. The agribusiness park will ensure regional producers can leverage the growing number of export opportunities within Australia and in overseas markets, such as India, Dubai, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The Park is part of a unique suite of support activities planned for the region under the Produce of Heaven banner which are expected to grow the annual value of agribusiness in the area from $445M to $578M.
With development commencing immediately and to be completed in 2009, the Produce of Heaven Business Park, will encompass office facilities, a commercial test kitchen and flexible packaging facilities. It will also serve as the head office of Produce of Heaven’s marketing and distribution activities.
The Produce of Heaven consortium has access to 55 businesses and up to 200 farmers and includes the iconic King Island, Tasfresh, Webster, Ghost Rock winery and Petuna seafood brands along with a number of premium products rarely seen on Australian supermarket shelves due to their powerful export potential.
Privately funded, the business park is the first development of its kind within Australia — representing a commercial collaboration between producers and the private sector. With the strong export growth anticipated for the region, the Produce of Heaven consortium hopes to expand the Park in the next five years.
Produce of Heaven Director, Mark Baker commented on the significance of the development for the region, explaining that the business park will not only improve the export opportunities for the local producers, but will also have a flow on benefit to the broader community within the region.
“To be truly competitive in a global market, our producers need to have the best of product, packaged and presented to global standards. The Produce of Heaven Business Park is part of a whole of product manufacturing strategy and allows the region’s producers to take advantage of the value added opportunities. It offers North West Tasmanian producers properly accredited facilities to improve the shelf-life of their products and to develop, trial and test great new food opportunities which will in turn open up greater export opportunities.
“The Devonport region is growth hormone free and has a lot of produce which is pesticide free. This provides lot of value-added opportunities with seconds (i.e. bruised apples that cannot be sold as is, but can be made into apple juice) and nutraceuticals in particular; however there has never been the properly certified facilities to produce these products until now. When I travelled to Taiwan last year with a few of the local producers, we identified the potential to supply these value added services facilities.
“Produce of Heaven was created to enhance economic development, investment and community environment for Tasmania’s North West region. The business park facilities will accelerate growth opportunities in the region and help us put the pure produce on the world’s map,” explained Baker.
The Produce of Heaven initiative officially launched to more than 180 guests from key national and international locations on 19th May 2008 as part of a three day experiential launch event set in Devonport, Tasmania — the heartland territory for Produce of Heaven growers and producers.
For further information contact:
02 9270 0200