Commercially grown truss tomatoes at Murphy Fresh and Tatura Fresh typify best practice in sustainable farming by achieving more with less. Employing between 120 and 200 people across two sites, Murphy Fresh and Tatura Fresh has built success by embedding our core company values into everything we do and focusing on our vision. At Murphy’s we aim to grow the freshest, tastiest, high quality tomatoes in Australia.
Murphy Fresh and Tatura Fresh tomatoes are grown in state-of the art glasshouses. The climate is controlled by a specially tailored computer program called PRIVA. This system lets us control and monitor heat, irrigation, nutrients and all the technical aspects of the glasshouse including vents and shade curtains. Growing in glasshouses also minimises exposure to pests and diseases and allows us to adhere to the strictest hygiene procedures.
Seedlings are received at between 4-5 weeks old and are planted into a fibre growing medium called rockwool. Drippers are inserted in to the rockwool and the plants are fed in a climate-controlled environment gently nurturing them to picking which is 8-10 weeks after planting.
Teams of crop workers tend to the plants daily, nipping the yellow flowers to create trusses of 5 tomatoes, lowering the plants to allow for 30 cm growth per week and twisting a string around the plants to ensure they have optimum growing space and are stabilised. Crop workers are also responsible for manually pollinating plants using a pollinating wand ensuring all plants produce optimum yield. Glasshouse grown tomato plants produce 70-75 kilograms of fruit per plant over ten months, ten times the amount of field grown tomatoes.
Picking each shed twice a week, our picking and packing season lasts for 10 months. Pickers use specially designed trolleys running down 120 metre tracked rows and pick tomato trusses straight into the box. Full trolleys are transported across to our automated packing facility and feed into a de-stack machine where they are carefully unloaded onto a conveyor belt. Highly skilled packer’s sort through fruit ensuring the correct weight, product specification and only highest quality fruit make it through to the supermarkets, greengrocers and restaurants. Once fruit is packed it is loaded onto a pallets ready for dispatch. Fruit ready for distribution is stored in a cool room maintained at 12 degrees Celsius. Fruit is dispatched daily to distribution centres across Australia.
The result of all this meticulous planning and hard work is flavoursome tomatoes bursting with antioxidants and nutrients, firm, super juicy ready for use all year round.
WHAT IS GOOD ABOUT TOMATOES?
- Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and niacin.
- They also contain minerals such as potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure and manganese involved in the regulation of brain and nerve function.
- Tomatoes contain dietary fibre, which is important for a healthy bowel.
- Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that may have health benefits.
- Energy – 100g of tomatoes supplies about 65kJ.
They are a delicious and tasty addition to any dish be it a salad, sauce or sandwich.