Minister Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash, today visited LeaderBrand in Tairawhiti to inspect our mega-greenhouse construction
Minister Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash, today visited our Gisborne farm to walk through our recently opened fresh distribution centre and inspect the ongoing construction of our 11-hectare mega undercover greenhouse project.
In October 2019, Kānoa, Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit loaned the company, $15 million to help fund our ambitious construction. The aim of the project is to accelerate crop growth all-year-round in a more sustainable manner, helping to mitigate weather impacts (the region has been hit with several storms in recent months), significantly reducing fertiliser and water usage as well as protecting soil structure.
Stuart Nash, Minister Economic and Regional Development, walked around our massive project as well as our 40 million litre water dam and one million litre treated water tank before then going through our state-of-the-art salad house and newly opened fresh distribution centre.
“LeaderBrand’s Tairawhiti operations are a particularly impressive example of how to scale up an operation while keeping it sustainable and innovative.
“The government is proud to support regional economies and projects like LeaderBrand to find sustainable solutions to expand, innovate and create jobs year-round,” says Nash.
Our CEO, Richard said that the project has been plagued with delays thanks to ongoing issues with Covid, global freight issues, severe storms and general building delays but are glad to be nearing the end of construction on the small greenhouse.
“We now have the roof and sides secured on the three-hectare greenhouse and construction has started on the internal mechanics as well as the highly technical watering and cooling system.
“Then we get to start the exciting part of preparing the soil and commencing our first planting. It’s been a hard slog but the team has persisted in such trying conditions. We’ll all be grateful to see this come to fruition in several months and taste our first crop.”
“We continue to challenge ourselves to lift the benchmark for growing produce and ensure that we’re finding more efficient ways to help fed New Zealander’s with healthy and affordable fresh vegetables.
“Our team was incredibly proud to walk Minister Nash through the whole salad growing process. From the field to the processing of our bagged salads then out to the cooling centre for preparation for distribution. Every day, across our farms, it’s a team effort to grow salads all-year-around and it was great for everyone here to get acknowledgment from the Minister for our efforts,” says Burke.
Construction continues on the larger greenhouse.