GIPPSLAND South MP Danny O’Brien believes South Gippsland can become a regional powerhouse for horticulture in the future.
Mr O’Brien recently visited Condoluci Produce near Leongatha and FreshZest Herbs at Pound Creek, two local producers making their mark on the national scale.
“Horticulturalists such as these, along with others such as Select Produce at Korumburra and the newly established Schreurs & Sons celery farm in Tarwin Lower have highlighted just how strong our horticulture sector could be in the future.
“While there’s been potato, onion and snow pea production in the area for many decades, there is growing interest in South Gippsland as a horticultural centre given our excellent soils, good rainfall, temperate climate and proximity to major markets such as Melbourne.
“I believe with the right government settings, support from the retail sector and an injection of private capital, South Gippsland could do even better than it currently does in horticultural production and create jobs and new service industry opportunities in the local region.
“We are already the nation’s largest producer of snow peas and it was great to see Condoluci Produce’s operation after I’ve undertaken previous visits to Select Produce.
“FreshZest is already expanding its herb growing to Leongatha North and there are further prospects for greenhouse production in our region.
“I believe our climate and location is ideal and potential opportunities include expanding greenhouse operations which take some of the risk out of farming.”
Mr O’Brien said he would continue to support the agricultural sector and encouraged local residents to not only support local produce, but support those supermarkets and retailers that prioritise Australian and locally grown produce.