Featuring an automated retractable roof and weather station, this new site will extend the company’s growing season, while improving quality and volume of its Australian produce for the national market.
This innovative, $3 million structure is currently growing its first crop of Roma tomatoes and other specialty tomato varieties, along with small crops such as capsicum.
Young Sang & Co. has been growing vegetables in the field in North Gregory since 1996. In the past few years, the company has suffered from virus and weather problems, which have negatively impacted on their produce and resulted in quality issues.
Eager to find a solution to these challenges, Young Sang & Co.’s General Manager, Daniel Scavo, visited Mexico last year. During this visit, Mr Scavo discovered a greenhouse retractable roof, which provided the best opportunity for the company to improve food security, volume and market produce quality.
Speaking about the company’s recent investment, Mr Scavo said, “The future of farming in Australia is changing and to keep up with customer expectations, we believe this investment is necessary.
“The retractable roof design is the first of its kind in Australia. This first class design makes it possible for our crops to grow under natural outdoor conditions, while protecting them from nature’s elements such as wind, frost, heat and rain.
"This investment will also allow our company to grow produce for 10 months of the year at a quality comparable to glasshouses, but cheaper."
The facility provides a more economically sustainable model of growing and producing fresh vegetables. Mr Scavo revealed that they are now using 70 per cent less pesticide, and are seeing a 70 per cent reduction in water use compared to their field-grown operations.
The new site allows Young Sang & Co. to use integrated pest management systems and has improved quarantine segregation.
Mr Scavo explained that customers will also benefit from this recent investment: “We are able to offer our customers high grade quality produce that is naturally grown in the ground for longer periods. Our fruit and vegetables are of very high quality, featuring the strong flavour and nutrients that consumers have come to love about Australian produce.”
Young Sang & Co.’s supply chain connects a number of growers, retailers and food service providers Australia-wide. As consumer demand for fresh produce has grown, the timeline between picking and retail display has shortened, requiring Young Sang & Co. to establish a highly efficient supply chain.
The business utilises the reusable plastic container (RPC) pooling system available from CHEP to facilitate the movement of produce between farms, distribution centres and supermarkets. The crates in this system are washed to meet HACCP standards and can be flat packed for easy storage. The crates also assist with controlling temperature and air circulation.
“We’ve partnered with CHEP since 1985 and our relationship has grown during that time. We decided to collaborate with CHEP, as they are a worldwide brand with a strong reputation for working with producers to develop cost-effective and efficient supply chain solutions,” Mr Scavo said.
Speaking about CHEP’s relationship with Young Sang & Co., Business Relationship Manager – Fresh, Pasquale (Perc) Valeri said, “By working with Young Sang & Co. we have been able to provide a crate pooling system that maximises the freshness of their produce, as well as ensure the company meets the stringent quality assurance, safety and packing requirements of the supermarkets.”
“Our team congratulates Young Sang & Co. on the successful opening of their greenhouse in North Gregory last month. We see this latest innovation as a win-win for the company and consumers, as it improves the flexibility of growing fresh produce and ensures that quality vegetables are available on shelves for longer,” Mr Valeri said.
CHEP provides the equipment that Young Sang & Co. requires to get their produce to market in a timely, efficient manner that maintains freshness and complies with food safety standards.
“We engage in regular discussions with CHEP to ensure we are continuously improving. CHEP has always facilitated open discussions with our company and are forward thinking. They have assisted our business in achieving operational efficiencies in the movement of fresh product from farm to stores,” Mr Scavo said.
If you'd like more information about growing your business with CHEP and discussing supply chain solutions, please speak to your Account Manager or contact our customer service team on 0800 652 437.