Home' Grower : October 2011 Contents The South Australian Grower -- October 2011
Protected cropping in SA
has 'enormous' potential
By LIZ COTTON
THE potential for
greenhouse development in
South Australia is
enormous, according to Protected
Cropping Australia chairman
He said the State was home to
the "greatest concentration" of new
projects -- including hydroponics.
SA also continued to invest
heavily in technology
"So to that end, it made sense to
hold the national PCA conference
in Adelaide in July," Mr Smith said.
Two of the most well-known
operations are d'VineRipe at Two
Wells, one of Australia's largest
tomato truss greenhouses and
Holla-Fresh, at Tantanoola.
Established in 1991, Holla-Fresh
is one of Australia's largest culinary
herb suppliers, stocking major
supermarkets, with a workforce of
more than 40.
"In the past past five or so years,
there has been a lot of growth
within the industry in SA,
especially since the creation of
d'VineRipe at Two Wells. We are
also expecting continued growth as
some of our major players look to
expand," Mr Smith said.
In SA, there are about 600 growers
who operate on an average of 4000
square metres -- or 0.4 hectares --
bringing the total area of protected
cropping to about 240ha in the State.
The Sydney Basin is the second
largest area for greenhouse
development, with about 400
SA has a long history of
protected cropping, but in the past
five years many growers have
developed their traditional methods
and adopted new technologies to
move to medium and high-
One of the biggest technological
leaps has been the introduction of
tall glasshouses to replace lower-
height polythene growing houses.
"The success of any operation
depends on how well it utilises
plant physiology and manages the
environmental elements. The taller
glasshouses har vest light very
effectively and maximise it for plant
production, they also allow
optimum air circulation and
exchange," Mr Smith said.
"Growers have gained new skills
through our workshops,
international study tours to
Holland -- the world leader in
greenhouse development -- and the
uptake of new technology, which
has seen the industry expand and
position itself for future growth."
Mr Smith said that the main
challenge for greenhouse
development nationwide in the past
has been a lack of industry training.
"We recognised that there was a
major skills shortage in horticulture,
with about 90 per cent of the
industry having no formal
greenhouse qualifications," he said.
"Access to training at all levels
was lacking and most producers
were travelling abroad at
considerable cost to attain it."
Pathways to Production, a
High investment in technology
600 growers on an average of
Pathways to Production com-
prehensive training program
AT A GLANCE
Victor Smorgan group managing director Peter Edwards, SA Trade
and Economic Development Department chief executive officer
Lachlan Bruce and Perfection Fresh CEO Michael Simonetta were at
the opening of the d'VineRipe glasshouse stage 2 official opening.
d'VineRipe completed a $30m expansion near Two Wells, creating a
17ha facility in March that will produce 10,000t of tomatoes a year.
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