It has been a tremendous start to 2023, according to a Western Australian vegetable grower, with mild weather compared to previous years allowing the crops to "mature perfectly and develop their unique sweetness".
Sun City Farms, north of Perth, is part of Centerwest Pty Ltd and grows carrots for export markets as well as sourcing and supplying a range of other fruit and vegetables. Managing Director Francis Tedesco says the carrot harvest is in full swing, five days a week, producing over 700 tonnes per week.
"As we enter into the Autumn months in Perth, we will only see the quality improve further and crops reach their maximum yield potential," Mr Tedesco said. "Demand for fresh carrots out of Western Australia is forever increasing due to several factors being the quality of produce that is produced has one of the highest levels of food safety for the consumer, 52 weeks of the year production that the customer can rely on, our temperate climate, unique soils and some of the purest water in the world along with our geographical location make us an attractive supplier."
The business is built purely on export and Mr Tedesco says given the geographical location and the highest level of food safety, this allows them to supply our Middle East customers in as little as 21 days from port-to-port and 5-10 days to our South East Asian customers with regular shipments on a weekly basis. While it is not just the fresh sector, the managing director also revealed an exciting venture with an organics company.
"As carrots are a main crop my dedicated sales team will source any of the finest quality products for our customers providing we get the best quality," he said.
"We were one of the first companies in Western Australia to export Avocados by sea. Other items we sell are onions, potatoes, citrus, stone fruit, avocados, celery, Chinese vegetables, strawberry and cherries. Centerwest has also just recently teamed with an organic foods company and can supply over 1600 organic grocery items from snacks, drinks, flour, rice, whole foods, soups the list goes on. So, if you ask for it, we will source the quality and deliver it. We have always maintained a motto within our company which is quality over quantity."
The main carrot variety that Sun City Farms grow is Nantes, which is called Stefano (Maestro) in Europe and is imported from France.
"As we are passionate about our produce, we only select the highest quality of seed from our supplier which is the top 10 per cent selected out of the seed crop called Vilrob," Mr Tedesco said. "The Nantes variety is well suited to our temperate climate and well-drained sandy soils whilst maintaining a smooth, tapered appearance and develops a unique sweetness compared to other varieties giving the consumer a pleasurable eating experience."
Mr Tedesco added that the farming approach has been founded on respect for nature and the environment and leading the way with earth-friendly and sustainable farming.
"Since 1989 Centerwest Exports/Sun City Farms has been led by multi-generational experience growing carrots and fresh produce in Western Australia, delivering the highest of quality carrots for export into over 14 countries around the globe and leading the way on the world stage, giving our customers a quality product 52 weeks of the year," he said.
"Everything we do leads to the highest quality carrots, with the longest possible shelf life. Our farming methods are kept clean, well controlled and focus on the best environmental outcomes. We have solar power solutions to produce electricity and our own managed aquifers delivering the highest quality water from 300mts underground giving our carrots their unique sweetness and Brix levels of 15. Our fertiliser application methods are safe, and well managed and use only the highest quality fertiliser products from Germany and Belgium. We experience very little impact from pests and diseases with most of our crops grown being pesticide free."
In 2003 the company joined its two entities and became the first carrot grower to move the packing facility (Centerwest) onto our farm (Sun City Farm) which gave the business the cutting-edge ability to have our carrots harvested, packed and in the cool room within one hour, which Mr Tedesco says provided maximum quality and shelf life for the product.
"This proved a great success and the packing facility has seen several upgrades since then to cater for the expanding export market, with the latest in 2019, incorporating the latest technology," he said. "Our Farms located 1hr north of Perth have grown from 50 acres in 1989 to four farms today compromising over 2700 acres to ensure we maintain our passion for quality our farms are situated within a 15km radius from the packhouse and produce is harvested directly into trucks and processed immediately giving our customers maximum shelf life and confidence in our product."
For more information
Centerwest Pty Ltd
Phone: +61 8 9577 2066