The Riv took a tour of the Kagome plant last week.IVY WISE February 10, 2014 4:40am
The noise of pumps and conveyor belts going at the Kagome plant is music to the ears of chief executive John Brady.
It started on February 2, followed the next day by the processing plant starting its paste production.
The factory will start processing diced tomatoes today and expects to receive up to 4000 tonnes of raw tomatoes a day.
Mr Brady said it was great to be up and running again after an ever-changing season.
‘‘It’s been a tough year. We’ve had four harsh frosts in October, with morning temperatures of -1°C and -2°C,’’ he said.
‘‘Our transplants, that were in the ground in September, went into self preservation mode.
‘‘Then we had extremely high winds that sandblasted many of the weak tomato plants which remained.
‘‘We had to re-plant 60 hectares, as it was early enough in the season.
‘‘Then we had the week of 42°C plus temperatures in January which delayed the start of the season.
‘‘We should have started on January 26, but we had to postpone it by a week.’’
A workforce of about 300 employees will help with harvest, which is expected to be completed by mid-April.
‘‘If we’re still going after Easter, it’s likely to be because of rain delays,’’ Mr Brady said.
This season, Kagome will harvest across 2500 hectares of tomato fields from as far as Lake Boga in the north, Nanneella in the east, Colbinabbin in the south and Boort in the west, processing up to 245,000 tonnes of raw fruit.
With an increase in carrot and beetroot production being planned during the winter months, Kagome hopes to process throughout the year and hit 300,000 tonnes in the near future.
‘‘Essentially, in three to five years if we’re doing tomatoes, carrots and beetroot, it will give us 12 months’ production, employ more local people full time and produce world-class quality products,’’ Mr Brady said.
He said the future looked optimistic for Kagome, with consumer demand for tomato-based products increasing, not only in Australia, but overseas, including India, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
Nathalia Secondary College principal John Sciacca will speak at Cool Heads tomorrow night about the night he came across the crash that killed Year 10 student Jess Hearn.
In a surprise announcement this morning the Burramine Sports Club has said there will be no Burramine Gift in 2015.
The Tatura and district Catholic community will celebrate the 51st staging of the Feast of St Donato on Saturday, August 2.
More than $30,000 was raised for the James McQuillan Future Fund through a nearest the pin competition at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Shavanna Coghill, Harvey Keating, Nate MacFarlane and Holly Scoble were among children who enjoyed the first community playgroup in Rochester on Monday.
Lancaster Football Netball Club makes all families welcome.
St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash declared Queensland bush poet female champion.
Jerilderie thumped Yarroweyah by 185 points on Saturday with star forward Aaron Purcell leading the charge.
Heathcote landfill is open until Sunday for the free disposal of e-waste.
Barooga Lions Club's stalwart of deb balls calls it a day after 17 years of service.
The Deniliquin Wetlands Restoration Community Project has restored the balance to the Deniliquin lagoon system.
Tackling salinity in the Goulburn-Broken basin was a key element of a presentation made to an international forum in the United States last month.
The garden is the work of more than 100 people and has taken more than a decade to complete. Aboriginal community devleopment worker Chris Thorne shared stories of Benalla's Indigenous heritage.
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