About Queensland Pride
Radcorp, is a field farming venture focusing on outdoor tomato production from seedlings through to customer distribution centres. Queensland Pride tomatoes are grown on the Radcorp 984 hectare farms, that is an equally owned venture between the Eatough family and Kapiris Bros. We pride ourselves on producing the best tomatoes possible.
Queensland Pride History
Radcorp is located in Bowen the dry tropic region of Far North Queensland, where temperatures remain constant all year round. Bowen is surrounded by a rich hinterland including the fertile Delta farmlands. Founded in 1969, the Eatough family began growing tomatoes, as pioneers in tomato farming the Eatough family experienced many challenges along with a labour intensive process than today, where the initial packing process was to hand wrap green tomatoes in tissue paper before packaging them into wooden crates. Radcorp have established themselves as one of the biggest growers of tomatoes in the Bowen area. Radcorp have been at the leading edge of the industry and were the first farm in Bowen to use computerised packaging equipment. Throughout the many changes within the industry along with the highs and lows that primary producers face daily, the passion and love for farming still remains today, where achieving high standards to produce premium quality tomatoes is a daily goal. Over the years refined processes have led to the point where Queensland Pride tomatoes are highly sought after in the Australian produce market.
Queensland Pride tomatoes are grown across the 984 hectare fields, they are trellised using steel stakes and string. Plastic “mulch” and irrigation tape is laid in rows using a tractor, the plastic reduces the number of weeds and helps to keep moisture in the soil. Tomato seedlings are planted in these rows by hand. Beetle bait is then laid to protect the seedlings from crickets and other insects which can chew the plants in half. Steel stakes are then placed along the rows, beside the plants. The plants are strung up to the stakes. Throughout the life of a tomato plant it will receive four prunes and 1 to 2 haircuts (top of the plant is chopped back). Tomatoes are indeterminate so a haircut ensures all of the goodness (water and fertiliser) goes into the growth of the tomatoes and not the plant itself. Twelve weeks from planting the tomatoes are picked for the first time. Tomatoes plants are picked multiple times over a six week period to yield premium Queensland Pride tomatoes.
Type of crop we grow
A number of different varieties of “Gourmet tomatoes” are grown across the 984 hectare fields. Variety choice is dependent on their performance from season to season coupled with future weather forecasts. The research and development team continually experiment with various new varieties to ensure that we obtain the ideal plant for the coming seasons.
Our Growing Season
The growing season is from February through to August. Field picking occurs from May through to November.
Our packing facilities
Radcorp expanded into a new packing facility in the 2012 season. Currently two graders are utilised one is a two lane Colour Vision grader and the other is a one lane Compac grader. Current cold room capacity can accommodate up to 100 pallets.
Packing and distribution process
Once picked, Queensland Pride tomatoes go over a grading table where 10 skilled workers will determine whether they are premium, first grade or second grade tomatoes. All premium tomatoes go through the Colour Vision machine while the first grade tomatoes go over our Compac machine. These machines will then sort the tomatoes into their different sizes and colours and put them into cartons. These cartons are then lidded and placed on pallets of 96 cartons. The pallets are then placed under cooling fans which quickly brings the tomatoes down to the required temperature. Refrigerated trucks then back onto the loading docks that are located inside the cold rooms. This ensures that the tomatoes remain at this optimum temperature from the when they are packed right through untill they reach their destination.
Radcorp currently complies with a HACCP System Certification to guarantee quality and food safety. HACCP as defined by CAC/RCP 1-1969 (Rev. 4-2003) growing, harvesting, ripening, packing and dispatch of tomatoes. Radcorp is also certified through AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 for growing, harvesting, ripening, packing and dispatch of tomatoes for the fresh market.
Queensland Pride Differentiation
Experience, knowledge and application of proven technology and techniques are key components when growing premium quality produce these are all areas that Radcorp are experts in. Having experts in all these areas differentiates Radcorp from all other growers. Some may say luck plays a role in growing at Radcorp we are very lucky! Lucky that we love what we do and we are surrounded with people who have a great passion and are proud of what they do! This is evident through the quality of Queensland Pride Tomatoes that are second to none.