Meander Valley has been pinpointed as an area for future expansion in Costa’s Tasmanian berry operations.
Dunorlan will have “a significant increase in holdings”, Costa Berries general manager David Jordan said.
Berries produced in the states North and North-West are moved through Costa’s updated distribution centre at East Devonport.
The $7.1 million project was formally opened on Wednesday by Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Braddon MHA Roger Jaensch.
More than 100 full-time equivalent jobs will be created as a result of this project, with more to come, Mr Jordan said.
“This distribution centre is a really important piece in our further expansion in the region. As the industry continues to grow the distribution centre gives us the opportunity to create more full-time roles,” Mr Jordan said.
Costa received $1.4 million funding from the Tasmania Jobs and Investment Fund to construct a modified atmosphere facility and upgrade the centre.
“The grant was an acknowledgement of the government’s support of us investing in the region. We have spent more than $7 million building refrigerated loading docks, ambient temperature unloading docks, packing rooms and cooling rooms and doubled the capacity of our modified atmosphere storage,” Mr Jordan said.
The upgraded facility means Costa can move 8,000 tonnes of Tasmanian fruit, but also opens up the option for further expansion.
“We are are predicting a 20 per increase in berry production next season and expanding by more than 20 hectares,” he said.
“Before, our facility just covered current supply and didn’t have the capacity to expand, but we’ve been able to solidify our approach to expansion and can increase our capacity.
“We expect to grow over the next five years and we believe there is more opportunity for blackberries and raspberries in this region,” Mr Jordan said.
The distribution centre also allows for increased capacity from third-party berry growers across the North and North-West.