GOOD HARVEST: General manager Clem Hodgman says the Barden Produce team is over the moon with the win, and the company is looking to the future.
GOOD HARVEST: General manager Clem Hodgman says the Barden Produce team is over the moon with the win, and the company is looking to the future. Dominic Elsome

Barden Produce growing strong in the region

OVERWHELMING joy is how Barden Produce general manager Clem Hodgman described the company's win last week.

The produce business took out the Agriculture and Horticulture Production and Processing award, beating out a tough field of competitors.

Mr Hodgman said the whole team was over the moon as a result.

"We're still walking on a cloud a week later,” Mr Hodgman said.

"We didn't know if we were going to come up trumps or not and the whole experience was an absolute delight.”

Mr Hodgman said since coming to the region in 2005, the company had become part of the fabric of the Lockyer Valley, and their community involvement was vital for their success.

He said the company owed its success, including its recent win at the Lockyer Valley Business, Training and Apprenticeship Awards, to its holistic business approach.

"We believe we're a good corporate citizen, we're a good community steward and that we deliberately and actively get involved and support charities across the board,” Mr Hodgman said.

He said last week's win would benefit the business in the long run.

"We'll use it strategically to reinforce our position with our customer base and with new customers,” he said. The company is preparing to expand in the Valley, and Mr Hodgman said with the potential support of a government grant, they hoped to be able offer better employment within the region.

"We're looking at continuing to develop our infrastructure which will lead to better and longer term sustainable employment in the valley,” he said.

The main focus of the development will be greenhouses to better control the growing environment during the changing seasons.

"Basically to protect us from the cold in the winter and protect us from the heat in the summer,” he said.

"That's what controls growing. We have a lot of controlled growing set-ups already in New South Wales.”


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