Renee Pye and Mark Pye

Renee and Mark Pye

Australian potato supplier, Pye Group, will invest A$35m in a new packing facility at Parilla, South Australia.

According to a press release, the Pye Group’s multi-million-dollar investment in its Parilla Premium Potatoes and Zerella Fresh brands will help feed growing demand for potatoes in Australia.

It will inject an estimated A$42m into the regional Mallee economy and create 40 new local jobs. Construction of the potato packing facility is scheduled to be complete by mid-2021.

Pye Group director, Mark Pye, said the new washing and packing facility at Parilla will double the production capacity of the company’s existing Virginia potato packing facility.

That facility each year washes and packs over 50,000 tonnes of potatoes for delivery in South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

“The new packing facility will feature the best available optical grading and automated packing technology to revolutionise the way in which we process potatoes,” explained Pye.

“The new Parilla facility will ensure the best possible quality controls and minimise waste. It is 260km and three hours closer by road to our Eastern states customers and offers faster delivery.

“Additionally, there will be 70 less B-Double trucks travelling between the Mallee region and Virginia each week reducing greenhouse emissions.”

The Pye Group received A$2m funding for the state-of-the-art potato packing facility via the South Australian government’s regional growth fund.

Zerella Fresh plans to transform its Virginia plant into a new food innovation hub to meet its strategy to diversify the business and continually reduce waste.