Many Tasmanians are aware of Harvest Moon, the fresh vegetable producer based in Forth in north-west Tasmania. What they might not know is that they are one of the largest privately owned vegetable producers in Australia.
Executive director Neil Armstrong established the company in 1981, with co-owner and current Managing Director Mark Kable coming on board in the early 90s. Tasmania was a logical place to start this vegetable growing business. Its cooler climate meant the vegetables grew more slowly and experienced less heat stress. Produce could be left in the ground for longer allowing flavour to develop and freshness to be maintained.
“The north-west coast of Tasmania has an abundance of clean water, beautiful soils, and a cool climate — perfect conditions for growing some of the best quality vegetables you’ll find in Australia.”
Since its inception, the business has gone from strength to strength. It now grows over 60,000 tonnes of vegetables and employs around 300 people in its Tasmanian operation. The business expanded just over 10 years ago into Victoria and Queensland, where they pack and market a further 30,000 tonnes.
In Tasmania, Harvest Moon grows and packs carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflowers, cabbages, spinach, beans, swedes, potatoes, pumpkin, and beetroot. The biggest of these products is carrots, which are harvested, washed, and cooled within 24 hours, which optimises their eating quality and shelf life.
These carrots are fresh, crunchy and full of flavour. So good are the carrots produced by Harvest Moon that each year in April, the company celebrates this product with its annual Carrot Festival at its operation in Forth.
A key focus for the business is improving the soils in which they grow vegetables. “We are custodians of this land; we need to manage the soils well”. Harvest Moon constantly invests in improving the soil structure and building the organic carbon content to ensure sustainability of this unique growing region.
Over many years, the team at Harvest Moon has developed an extensive knowledge of growing, harvesting, grading, washing, cooling and packing produce. “We heavily invest year after year to expand our vegetable growing capability and increase our packaging capacity”, says Mark Kable.
The business supplies local, domestic, and international markets with a range of fresh vegetables and can supply markets year-round from its sites across the country.
“From our farm to your family, Harvest Moon is driven by a commitment to high quality, fresh produce”, says Mark Kable.