SHE’LL BE APPLES: Organic farmer David Bellamy, with wife Dooley and children Inda, 10, and Storm, 12, at the site of their new organic fruit orchard. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSONThe processing factory on site will be recommissioned, and managing director David Bellamy has plans to lure some of the thousands of cars that drive past on the Bass Highway each day into the orchard for an organic tourism experience.
Second-grade fruit will be processed into a new line of organic baby food, and smaller organic enterprises will be able to process their product at Parramatta Creek on a contract basis.
Websters put the orchard on the market two years ago, and orchard manager Phillip Reed said the sale had provided employment security for the work force of 25 which is expected to double over time.
The orchard has 100,000 trees, and Mr Bellamy plans to keep apple production at 4000 tonnes a year.
While former owners Clements and Websters struggled to make a profit from apples, Bellamy’s Organic Farms Tasmania plans to cut costs by cutting out the middle man and supplying supermarkets direct.
The orchard will stay in conventional production until it becomes a certified organic business.
Forestry plantation activity surrounding the orchard is not seen as a threat to business and Mr Bellamy said he would rather the orchard be surrounded by trees than other non-organic farming activity.
The orchard was last owned by Webster’s and the former owner will work closely with Bellamy’s Organic Farms over the next two years.
Websters has now shed all its apple interests for $4.6 million, with the sale of Paramatta Creek and its Southern Orchard.
Both the State Government and the Tasmanian Greens yesterday welcomed the sale, saying it would give the State’s burgeoning organics industry a major boost.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.