Greenhouse expansion harvests 250 new jobs in Adelaide’s north

13 December

Buckland Park-based horticulture company P’Petual Holdings has announced plans to expand its high-technology glasshouse complex in a project expected to create 250 new ongoing jobs in Northern Adelaide.

To be rolled out over three stages, the $60 million expansion will increase the scale of the greenhouses from eight to 28 hectares, creating the second largest high technology glasshouse horticulture project in the State.

The first stage, which commenced in late November 2017, was an eight hectare expansion funded with the help of a $2 million Future Jobs Fund grant that will generate 100 new ongoing jobs and increase total yield to approximately 7800 tonnes of produce annually. P’Petual received their Future Jobs Fund grant offer this week and is one of 57 businesses offer grant and loan funding so far.

P’Petual Holdings has also attracted investment capital to fund the expansion from overseas investors.

Investment Attraction South Australia has been working with P’Petual to secure these investments and new jobs.

The collaboration between P’Petual Holdings, Stretton Centre, City of Playford, SA Water, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Environmental Protection Authority South Australia, the Office of the Agent-General and IASA has helped to achieve this result.

P’Petual Holdings, trading under the brand Ausfresh currently operates eight hectares of high-tech greenhouses used for growing a combination of niche tomatoes, eggplants and mini-cucumbers. Over the past 12 months the facility has produced just over 2850 tonnes of produce and employed an average of 109 full-time equivalent employees.

Produce grown at the facility is sorted and packaged onsite and sold to major supermarket chains, independent supermarkets and grocers all around Australia.

Analysis by the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies indicates that over the next ten years, this expansion will add an estimated $138.2 million to gross state product in 2016/17 values.

Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said South Australia’s natural advantages in food production and manufacturing complement its proximity to Asia making the State an ideal global food gateway.

“It’s pleasing that overseas firms have recognised these advantages and sought to invest with a great South Australian company like P’Petual Holdings. This is another great win for Investment Attraction South Australia, and takes the agency’s tally to 25 projects with more than 7300 jobs secured,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“This is another much-needed jobs boost for Northern Adelaide and follows VeroGuard Systems’ announcement last week of its plans to construct an advanced manufacturing facility at Edinburgh and create 600 full-time jobs.”

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said there was an overwhelming response from the food industry to the $200 million Future Jobs Fund. He noted there were many strong applications from ambitious businesses seeking to grow and create new jobs.

“Demand is growing for quality food products that can be produced year-round, and with South Australia’s climate and ability to be able to distribute around the country, we are perfectly positions to be a leader in this sector. This grant to Pepetual will fund the first phase their expansion and create 100 ongoing jobs in Adelaide’s North,” Mr. Koutsantonis said.

P’Petual Holdings Director, Henry Liu said horticulture and protected cropping are growing sectors in the region.

“It is exciting for P’Petual Holdings to be part of that growth and to see our facility expand into a state-of-the-art horticultural centre. The expansion of our facility opens up opportunities to access overseas markets and showcase the high quality produce grown right here in South Australia,” said Mr Liu.

“Investment Attraction South Australia have been strong supporters of our growth plans and provided welcome assistance throughout the development approval process and beyond.”