New facility is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere according to leading Australian potato supplier
Leading Australian potato supplier Pye Group has officially opened its new A$45m packing facility in Parilla, South Australia.
According to Group the 15,000m² warehouse is the largest potato packing facility in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been equipped with state-of-the-art machinery which has doubled the Group’s production capacity (from 22 tonnes an hour to 45 tonnes an hour), delivering the highest quality controls, and minimising waste.
Pye Group director, Mark Pye, said the project, which has taken 18 months to complete, was a critical investment for its brands Parilla Premium Potatoes and Zerella Fresh as demand soared in recent months.
“We have always invested in the best technology, equipment and facilities to ensure we’re producing, packing and selling the best quality products in the most efficient and sustainable ways,” Pye said.
“Not only are we creating jobs and building livelihoods for more than 25 families in the Mallee region, but we’re also cutting emissions by reducing the number of B-double trucks on the road, creating faster delivery times for our customers and producing A-grade quality, great tasting potatoes – one of the most versatile and affordable ingredients for everyday Australians.
“It’s been an incredible project to oversee with machinery engineers from Europe being on site and then, throughout the pandemic, operating remotely at all hours of the night, to guide the installation process to ensure the potato packing facility was ready as quickly as possible. The efforts from our staff have also been critical to the delivery of this project.”
The Pye Group received a A$2m grant under a South Australian state government Regional Growth Fund in 2020.
“Our production facilities and harvesting crops located at Parilla complement our existing site at Virginia which means that we’re able to have greater touch points across the state for greater supply and access for our national retailers,” said Pye.
The Pye Group employs more than 350 people and, in recent months, has overseen the construction of 27 Selecta homes to welcome workers and their families to the region as a place to live, work and foster new career paths.
“This state-of-the-art facility will lead our stable of brands for the foreseeable future and we’re excited at the opportunity that this new facility will bring for everyone involved.”