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Gippsland vegetable farm feeds future jobs growth


A small vegetable-growing business is sprouting new roots in East Gippsland, with support for a new fresh food warehouse that will create jobs and help grow the region’s food and fibre sector.

The Victorian Government has announced support for Frais Farms to develop a new fresh food packing and storage site at Hillside near Bairnsdale.

The expansion will create 15 new jobs and support Gippsland’s $7 billion food and fibre industry, which already employs more than 15,000 people.

Frais Farms will build a new packing, cooling and distribution facility with new technology and equipment to prepare the company’s harvested product.

The company’s current packing and cool room facilities are leased and at capacity, with the expansion allowing them to bring these operations in-house to increase production and meet growing consumer demand. This will improve efficiencies and enable the company to explore export opportunities.

Frais Farms will install a solar power generation system as part of the development, helping reduce electricity costs and offset demand on the local grid during periods of heavy power use.

Established in 2008, Frais Farms is a fresh vegetable growing and packing company based at Lindenow, west of Bairnsdale. It currently grows 75 tonnes of conventional and organic produce per week, from baby broccoli, wombok, cauliflower and kale to baby spinach, rocket, and lettuces.

The investment in Frais Farms follows the Government’s $1 million support for an Australian-first consortium led by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to fast-track food and fibre industry growth in regional Victoria.

Gippsland contains more than a quarter of Victoria’s agricultural land and its farms produce about 19 per cent of Victoria’s vegetables. In 2021-22 Victoria was Australia’s largest food and fibre exporter by value, with $17.9 billion accounting for more than a quarter of the country’s total exports.

Frais Farms’ expansion is part of the Victorian Government’s record investment of more than $41 billion across rural and regional Victoria since 2015.