The recent finalisation of a takeover of Thomas Foods International’s potato business and a spike in demand through the coronavirus pandemic has cemented Mitolo Group as the Australia’s largest fresh spud producer, writes Andrew Spence in The Lead.
The company, which is based in Adelaide Plains of South Australia and has potato and onion farms in the Riverland and Mallee regions of the state, is reporting a 10 per cent increase in demand for its potatoes since the start of the pandemic in Australia.
It began digging its first new season potatoes in the last week of October but is now facing a worker shortage over the summer harvest due to a dwindling number of international backpackers in Australia following the closure of borders in March.
Mitolo is looking to fill 60-100 jobs across the Riverland, Mallee and Adelaide Plains in the coming months to coincide with harvest and has broadened its recruitment focus from backpackers to school leavers, the recently unemployed and university students looking for summer jobs. It is even encouraging grey nomads to hook up their caravans and head to where the jobs are.
The TFI acquisition boosted Mitol’s capacity by about 20 per cent and included a second packing facility as well one farm and the lease on another. The new deal increased Mitolo’s total annual production to 125,000 tonnes of washed potatoes, 50,000 tonnes of brushed potatoes and 35,000 tonnes of onions.
Source: The Lead. Read the full story here
Photo: Frank (left) and John Mitolo have begun this season’s potato harvest after a strong year of sales throughout the coronavirus pandemic | The Lead