Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Meadow Mushrooms Undergoing Major $45million Expansion

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Meadow Mushrooms Undergoing Major $45million Expansion

Canterbury-based Meadow Mushrooms is undergoing an extensive $45million expansion at its production facilities at Norwood and Wilmers Road on the outskirts of Christchurch. Meadow Mushrooms Chief Executive Roger Young says the development demonstrates the company's confidence in the future market and its commitment to the community. "The expansion will create substantial additional employment, making the company one of the largest employers in the region and firmly securing its place as a major Canterbury business," he says.

The business was established in Cyprus in 1968 by well-known businessman and former senior politician, Philip Burdon, and his business partner Roger Giles. Both men invested $17,000 in 1970, in the New Zealand company, which has since self-funded its own growth. Staff numbers have grown from 11 in 1970 to a labour force of more than 500 today, making the company the largest producer of mushrooms in New Zealand and the second largest in Australasia. However Meadow Mushrooms Board Chairman Philip Burdon says it hasn't all been plain sailing. "At its inception Meadow Mushrooms was mocked as a ridiculous pipe dream and it's certainly not been a one-way success story," he says.

"Now, however, the company can legitimately claim to have established one of the largest and most sophisticated agri-business in the country for which we can be very proud."

Roger Young says growing mushrooms isn't easy and doing it successfully on a commercial scale is difficult, so this development project will help set the company up for the future. "The art of mushroom growing has become very technical and science-based, so the expansion will utilise world-leading innovative techniques. The new technology involved will see composting moved into specialist buildings designed to capture and treat any contaminants," he says.

"All key processes will be computer controlled and monitored. The level of recycling will be enhanced with ammonia gas converted to a nutrient input and all waste water returned to the process. "Rainwater will also be collected from roofs and 'hard-stand' areas for use in the composting process to ensure we become the most environmentally-sensitive farming industry in the country." He says the expansion will see the overhaul of composting, where large tunnels and bunkers will be built to increase production capacity and enable composting in a bulk format. Another major part of the expansion involves the establishment of a modern, high-tech growing farm based on the Dutch shelf system and the construction of a new purpose-built pack shed. "This expansion will ensure Meadow Mushrooms will be able to meet growing demand and will dramatically improve efficiency and productivity," says Roger Young.

He says the expansion is planned to be completed by early 2011, just in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Meadow Mushrooms.

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.