Plan for massive avo crop

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Oliver Barnes and Andrew McBain from Alterra.
Camera IconOliver Barnes and Andrew McBain from Alterra. Credit: Victoria Baker

Agricultural investment group Alterra Ltd has secured a 30 year lease on 300ha of land to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a large scale avocado growing project, named the Carpenters Project.

Alterra managing director Oliver Barnes said the project could potentially represent about 10 per cent of the State’s avocado crop.

The land has been leased to a special purpose vehicle established by Alterra, the Carpenters Beedelup Pty Ltd by Red Moon Property Holdings, a related entity of the Casotti Group, Western Australia’s biggest privately-owned fruit grower, packer and wholesaler.

“Carpenters adjoins our renowned Casuarina property and is a large contiguous development site, in a premium growing region, with access to significant high quality water and nutrient rich karri soils perfect for avocado production,” Casotti Group general manager Mario Casotti said.

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As part of the lease, the Casotti group will provide the project with 500 megalitres of water, as well as the land to develop the project.

Southern Forests Food Council vice president Mitchell East said it made sense that the region was attracting investment.

“There has been a lot of money made in the region, by a lot of growers, which is a great thing and has benefited the area,” he said.

Alongside the lease, the project has secured exclusive rights to avocado genetics and production data from Pemberton grower, packer and exporter French’s Group.

The project going ahead is contingent on the results of a detailed engineering assessment, confirmation of plantable hectares and availability of investment capital.

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