Feeling fresh? So are Yamatji Enterprises Limited (YEL), 4 Ways Fresh Produce and IBA. The parties have formed a joint venture company to establish a cucumber farm in Geraldton, Western Australia, creating a legacy for traditional owners.
The company, Yamatji Fresh Produce Pty Ltd, will develop 400 greenhouses to grow cucumbers making it the largest grower in Australia. It will also consider growing other crops such as tomatoes, eggplants and capsicum to fill the national supply gap. The joint venture will provide job opportunities for the community – creating a lasting legacy for generations to come.
In 2022, Yamatji and IBA acquired two adjacent parcels of land in Geraldton WA. Construction of a horticultural facility began in 2023. The first 125 greenhouses are expected to be completed in 2024 and another 125 greenhouses will follow in 2025.
One of the major highlights of last fiscal year was achieving development approval. Navigating through the regulatory landscape was no small feat, but we secured the green light to move ahead with the project. This milestone has paved the way for us to turn our vision into reality, and we cannot wait to see the transformation of the land into a flourishing cucumber haven.
Another significant achievement was the completion of the fencing work around the block. Not only was the completion of the fencing work a significant milestone in our project’s development, but it also represented a crucial achievement in our commitment to First Nations procurement. It marked the first of many First Nations–led contracts we are expecting to secure and deliver.
In addition, groundwork officially commenced with the construction of the dam, which will be the lifeblood of the facility, providing a reliable and efficient irrigation system to support the growth of our cucumber crops. As we dug the foundations, we knew that we were digging the foundations of a brighter future for the Yamatji community. We also initiated the construction of other essential facilities, including the ablution block, an integral part of the working environment for our future employees.
With the first 125 greenhouses under construction, we can already visualise the thriving fields of cucumbers awaiting us in the upcoming harvest. Once built, the facility will be able to produce roughly 1,700 t of cucumbers per annum.