GUYRA’S Costa Tomato Farm is growing, with the glasshouse to expand by another 10 hectares.
The new expansion will grow snacking and cocktail tomato varieties and is expected to bring with it 150 jobs to the region.
“We’re going to build a new nursery and expand our packing facility capabilities to deal with the additional volume,” Costa Group corporate affairs manager Michael Toby said.
“We’re hoping to have that up and running by 2020.”
The state government’s commitment to fund the Malpas Pipeline weighed on the organisations decision to expand.
Although the site is essentially self-sufficient, the $12.8 million Malpas Pipeline project provides water security to the entire town.
Armidale Regional Council councillor Peter Bailey said the development reinforces the region’s controlled environment benefits.
“What most people don’t realise is that Costa’s labour force comes from Guyra, Armidale, Uralla – all over the place,” he said.
“We also believe that as climate variability gets more aggressive, whether that’s in climate change, those that can control climate will see a big future in horticulture.
“We want to continue to grow the city, jobs and make things happen.”
The Costa Group already has a DA application approved for the extra 10 hectares and will talk with council about any further approvals needed.