MELBOURNE WHOLESALE FRUIT & VEGETABLE MARKET, EPPING

In a Victorian first, the Andrews Labor government has helped lure decontamination processor Steritech to the Melbourne Market. Steritech is set to open a new X-ray treatment facility that will boost export potential, and provide Victorian producers with a major market advantage.

Today I announced the development with Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford at the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable Market in Epping.

X-ray treatment is a phytosanitary measure, using cutting-edge new technology for fresh horticultural produce that enables growers to meet export market access requirements. It is also a viable alternative to chemical treatment or prolonged cold storage of product.

The project involves construction of a 3396sqm warehouse, buildings, and coolrooms at the Melbourne Markets.

The new facility is set to reduce costs and improve profitability for Victorian producers as they will no longer need to transport export-bound produce to Queensland for treatment. Reducing transport and handling of product will also lower product wastage.

The facility will enable Victoria’s horticulture producers to meet increasing demand from international markets for high quality product. Unlike some other treatment options, X-ray treatment does not significantly reduce commodity quality and may extend shelf life.

The Labor Government will provide funding to secure Steritech’s position in Victoria and leverage substantial investment from the company.

The investment will mean a 10 per cent reduction in transport costs for Victorian horticultural exporters using Steritech’s facilities.