Australian vegetable grower to diversify into glasshouse cucumbers

Australian glasshouse producer and marketer Flavorite is diversifying into a new glasshouse crop: high-wire continental cucumbers.

“It’s all-new technology, in a conventional glasshouse,” National Business Manager Sam Kisvarda told Horti Daily. Growing cucumbers, he says, “is basically diversifying into a category that is still done in a low-tech environment, but we are looking at doing it in a high-tech environment like they do in Europe. It will add a better consistency to the supply chain [and] the first of its kind in a high-tech environment.”

The company is constructing a four-hectare, high-tech glasshouse extension in time for June 2021 planting at its Warragul, Victoria facility. The idea is to grow cucumbers year-round, with greater volume in summer – and unlike most continental and Lebanese cucumbers, which are grown in tunnels, Flavorite plans to grow its crops on wires to around nine metres, Kisvarda claims. “That gives you more production and a bigger size bracket, meaning we can pick a more consistent size in line with customer expectation every time.”

Kisvarda sees growing demand among east-coast consumers: “traceability can be an issue” for cucumbers coming across from South and Western Australia, he says, with production “spread across many small growers, making it difficult to guarantee compliance and consistency”.

“Flavorite’s production of cucumber may only be a trial, but personally, I think it is going to fill a huge gap in the market for high quality, safe and consistent supply.” Another reason the company’s looking to diversify? “To spread the risk,” Kisvarda says.

If all goes well the first year, Flavorite is looking to increase its cucumber plantings to to 50,000 square metres in 2022.

Source: Australian glasshouse producer planning to diversify into the cucumber space I Horti Daily