'Green' glasshouse for red tomatoes

Monday, 25 February, 2008

Innovative design saves water

The first stages of d'VineRipe's $30 million truss tomato glasshouse at Two Wells, South Australia, has opened. The glasshouse is owned by Victor Smorgon Group and agribusiness investment manager, Timbercorp Limited. It will be managed by d'VineRipe, a joint venture between Perfection Fresh, Timbercorp Limited, Victor Smorgon Group, and horticulturist Greg Prendergast. Designed and built by van der Hoeven glasshouse builders of Holland, the glasshouse maximises light to conserve energy and boost yield.

Efficiencies include water savings to the Adelaide community of nearly 250 ML/year, an almost ten-fold increase in production, a 500% improvement in water use compared with equivalent-sized, open field production, and a reduction in the use of chemicals.

"In terms of sustainability, this glasshouse sets a precedent for the future of glasshouse horticulture in Australia. Consumers will become more accustomed to better tasting fruit and will come to expect a sustainable, responsible and safe approach to food production across the supply chain," Perfection Fresh chief executive officer, Michael Simonetta said.

d'VineRipe produces three varieties of hydroponically grown, vine-ripened tomatoes - Romatherapy baby Roma tomatoes, d'VineRipe truss tomatoes and Saladette truss tomatoes.

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