Since Fresh Select’s beginning over 45 years ago, the company has built a strong reputation for providing only the most fresh and carefully selected vegetables to local and overseas markets. Fresh Select maintains this illustrious standing for freshness and quality by its commitment with local growers, as well as remaining an industry leader with respect to constant innovation within the Horticulture industry.
Headquartered in Melbourne’s Werribee South region, appropriately deemed the “salad bowl of Victoria,” today Fresh Select are one of the largest lettuce and brassica farmers in Australia. They produce soft veg, namely broccoli, baby broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cos lettuce and hydroponic lettuce, in both open field and protected cropping sites across three farming locations: Werribee and Gippsland in Victoria, Gatton in Queensland and the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. In total, production is approximately 2000 hectares.
In order to produce quality crops, Fresh Select’s vertical integration of the supply-chain is critical to achieve the overall “paddock-to-plate” concept. Key components such as food-safety-systems that are based on HACCP principles is only one aspect of this process. Engaging with agronomists who select the right seed variety dependant on the climatic conditions of the growing regions is another major factor contributing towards consumer satisfaction of eating their daily veg.
The ability to achieve and maintain this level of quality assurance is not by chance nor is luck a constant in this equation. Together, the Fresh Select team’s qualifications and accreditations include backgrounds in agricultural science, food technology, Safe Quality Food (SQF), as well as Food Safety Auditor accreditation. Fresh Select is also Coles accredited, which offers exclusive products grown through Fresh Select such as “Symphony Lettuce TM”.
Being conscious of how they produce their food, Fresh Select have created a ‘Nurture Plan’ dealing with sustainability and the environment. Part of ‘the Plan’ is their dedication to the reduction of their carbon footprint, by developing sustainable farming techniques and knowledge sharing with their growers on areas such as soft-target chemicals plus Integrated Crop Management (ICM) initiatives, pest resistance techniques and soil health. Fresh Select also utilizes an HACCP accredited washing facility, and focuses on effective waste management techniques in order to minimize this area of operations.
Another strong point is the importance that Fresh Select place on industry partnerships which has contributed to their continued success. Robust relationships with global companies such as Bayer Crop Science, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and multiple international seed-breeding companies. This has enabled them to be the first-to-market with new innovative products and technologies and ahead in R&D advancements as well as a prominent global presence.
With all of this factored in Fresh Select has been able to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to major issues facing the Australian Farming Community. It is imperative to note that Australian farmers produce close to 93 percent of Australia’s daily domestic food supply. This means that the agricultural sector contributes close to $50 billion towards Australia’s total GDP, and own/manage over 60 percent of the country’s landmass. Of course with an impact this significant challenges will inevitably arise in this sector, whether social, economic or environmental. However Fresh Select’s resilience and progressiveness overall, is why they remain at the forefront of high quality and supremely fresh vegetable production reaching supermarket shelves, and in turn your dining room table.
Expect this industry luminary to continue doing so.