Drover's Rest Organic Berry Farm

 

 

 

 

 

Press Releases

Regional Pertnerships Funding for Bridgetown

 

Media Release, 28 April 2005

 

Regional Partnership Programme funding of $154,000 has been granted to assist Seymour Holdings (WA) P/L produce a new frozen product. The packing and transport Operations of its certified organic fruit and vegetable farm will also be extended.

 

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Cobb, today announced that Australian Government funds would go towards building costs and the purchase of processing equipment.

 

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Farm Expansion Facilitated

 

Farm Expansion facilitated through Regional Partnerships funding
Press Release for NASAA, 8 May 2005

 

Drover's Rest Enterprises - located in Bridgetown, Western Australia - has been granted Federal Government funding of $154,000 to assist in the $400,000 expansion of the company's organic berry farm, moving into new frozen fruit products.

 

Drover's Rest already supplies fresh strawberries throughout Australia to supermarkets, independent retailers and organic shops. In line with its value adding strategy, the company will be aiming to expand the product offering frozen and refrigerated fruit and vegetable products and a gourmet line of jams, sauces and preserves.

 

The grant assistance will enable the company to construct Western Australia's only dedicated fruit and vegetable processing facility for certified organic produce. Funding will go towards building costs and the purchase of processing equipment - with the project planned for completion in June 2006.

 

"The new facility will contribute significantly to the local economy of Bridgetown through the use of local construction services, and increased employment opportunities in the factory and in surrounding production areas", says Dr. Errol Seymour, Managing Director.

 

Dr. Seymour is interested in hearing from growers wishing to market 'second grade' quality produce suitable for processing. Contact (08) 9761 2901 or email to admin@organicfinefood.com.au.

 

The new product line will include a range of fruit and vegetable purees, retailed in refrigerated and frozen form, with minimal processing, to retain as much as possible of the nutritional value of the organic produce. Dr. Seymour said he is aiming at the school and office lunch box market, as well as the home and food processing industry. "There are some parallels to Jamie Oliver's organic food for school in the U.K." he said.

 

This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government under its Regional Partnerships Programme.

 

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Manjimup - Bridgetown Times, Wednesday, 11 May 2005

 

Drover's Rest Enterprises on Elwins Road, Bridgetown, Western Australia, are proceeding with a $400,000 expansion of their organic berry farm, partially funded by a Federal Government Regional Partnership grant of $154,000 announced on 28th April 2006 by The Hon. John Cobb, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services.

Dr. Errol Seymour, Managing Director of Drover's Rest, said that this grant will enable them to construct Western Australia's only dedicated fruit and vegetable processing facility for certified organic produce. Drover's Rest, possibly Australia's largest organic berry farm, already supplies fresh strawberries throughout Australia to supermarkets, independent retailers and organic shops. He said this new facility will be significant for Bridgetown with employment opportunities in the factory plus potential increased employment in surrounding areas providing produce. Dr. Seymour said that Bridgetown was at the "centre of gravity" of organic farms in the South West. Organic markets are growing at about 15 to 20% per annum.

 

Drover's Rest will be aiming to produce frozen and refrigerated fruit and vegetable products suitable for children's lunchboxes, office lunches, home and commercial use, with minimum processing to retain as much as possible of the nutritional value in organic produce. Dr. Seymour said that there is a huge potential market for supplying the needs of an increasingly health conscious nation. He said there were some parallels with Jamie Oliver's initiative in the U.K., recently supported by the Blair government, to supply healthy food to schools, including organic fruit and vegetables. A gourmet line of products will also be produced including jams and preserves. Contract processing may be considered if capacity allows.

Dr. Seymour said he would use local contractors where possible to construct the new facility, which will be completed by June 2006. He said work will commence immediately.

 

Drover's Rest has appointed a local man, Daren Tassos, to the position of Operations Manager, responsible for field and packing shed operations, to allow the owner to concentrate on the new value adding business.

 

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