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Seed processing plant to create export opportunities

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Leading Australian seed producer South Pacific Seeds will construct a specialised processing plant to help develop its Asian and European export markets.

The new AU$2.9 million plant in Naracoote, South Australia, is part of a total investment of $5.4, which includes a $300,000 South Australian Government Regional Development Fund grant. 

The first seeds are expected to be exported this year.

South Pacific Seeds (SPS) was established in 1986 and specialises in producing high quality vegetable seed crops under contract agreements for customers around the world.

The company’s core business involves contracting growers across South Eastern Australia to multiply specific varieties and crop types from seeding through to processing and export. SPS is also the leading supplier of commercial vegetable seeds to the Australian market.

The South Australian Division of SPS produces a range of high value vegetable seed crops – including carrots, onion, radish, pak choi and celery – for global markets.

More recently it became the preferred production partner with the Australian CSIRO research centre to produce Kebari Ultra-Low Gluten Barley, the world’s first low gluten barley.

South Pacific Seeds South Australia production manager Georgina Fitzgerald said the new plant would give the company a 200 per cent increase in primary cleaning capacity and the efficiencies and capabilities of the new machines would enable it to be more competitive in the global market.

Employment opportunities

“Naracoorte is a key centre in the heart of the largest small-seed production area in Australia and it made sense for us to locate our new purpose built facility there,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“We are looking forward to working more closely with our growers in the region and creating extra employment and export opportunities.”

South Australian Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said the expansion would create local jobs and also provide exciting opportunities for Limestone Coast growers, who supply seeds to the company.

“The project has excellent opportunities for full-time jobs and increased economic activity in the region and I’m delighted to support the development of such an important piece of infrastructure with a Regional Development Fund grant,” he said.

Andrew Spence is a senior writer with The Lead, South Australia

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