The Andrews Labor Government is funding pioneering robotic weeding equipment for Kilter Pty Ltd in Lake Boga that could transform Victoria’s tomato growing industry, boosting exports and growing local jobs.
The Labor Government will provide a grant of $250,000 through its Food Source Victoria program for the ground-breaking project, which has the potential to transform the processed tomato industry and position Victoria as the lead organic tomato processing centre for Australia.
The robotic weeding equipment is crucial to growing organic tomato crops, as the requirements of organic certification mean chemicals can’t be used to control weeds.
Kilter is the largest grower of irrigated, broad acre-organic crops in Australia and the second largest grower of processing tomatoes after Kagome Farms.
There are currently no organic tomatoes processed in Australia, so manufacturers and retailers offering products containing organic processed tomatoes must use an imported product.
This project creates a significant market opportunity for Australian-grown organic tomatoes in Victoria, growing local jobs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“This exciting project has the potential to transform our tomato growing industry and increase horticultural exports right across Victoria.”
“It will mean manufacturers and retailers wanting to offer products containing organic processed tomatoes will have access to local product, grown in Victoria – supporting local jobs.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“Kilter has developed a plan to pioneer the growing, processing and marketing of organic tomatoes in Australia and that’s great news for Victoria.”