Hello, I’m John Cordina – owner and Managing Director of Hydro Produce, and I would like to welcome you to our website.
The Hydro Produce story begins with family. Starting as a small farm business in the 1940’s, we have grown into a national business and a leader in fresh produce production and supply. With knowledge passed on through the generations – I am now proud to have led the company since 2010 after my father retired.
At Hydro Produce we have one mission, to deliver the best and freshest produce to the plates of Australian’s every day. We supply supermarkets and independent retailers with both hydroponically grown and field grown produce.
We grow and harvest many lines of produce we showcase here at our hydroponic farm at Peats Ridge on NSW’s Central Coast and our farm in Bundaberg QLD. We also source supply from our wider Hydro Produce family network throughout Australia.
At Hydro Produce we are in total control of the supply chain, from farm to delivery; we grow, harvest, pack, and manage our transport. Ensuring only the best from our farms and growers across Australia.
Our packing and storage operations are based in Sydney and operate all year round for the convenience of our customers and to guarantee we deliver on our mission each and every day.
Thanks for coming to visit our website and be sure to head over to our recipes section. I’m sure you’ll leave feeling inspired to get into the kitchen and create a culinary masterpiece.
Owner and Managing Director
Our Story Starts
Hydroponics is simply growing plants with nutrients and water without the need for soil. The water and nutrients are delivered directly to the plants root system.
There are two types of hydroponic growing techniques:
Nutrient Film Technique
NFT is a system where a very shallow stream of water & nutrient mix is recirculated past the bare root of the plant in a watertight gully. The depth of the stream is very shallow, hence the name ‘nutrient film’.
This technique has the product planted in a neutral medium to hold the plant upright. There are many types of neutral mediums, Hydro Produce uses Coco Peat (the husks of coconuts) The root ball receives required nutrients from the water supply that is fed directly to the root ball through a drip irrigation system.
Benefits of growing hydroponically
- Hydroponically grown plants use water efficiently. The water is recycled using 10% of the water it takes to grow in soil.
- Hydroponically grown plants require much less land surface – A hydroponic greenhouse can produce as much plant matter as a conventional field ten times the size.
- Hydroponics requires no soil whatsoever eliminating any soil borne pests or diseases.
- Because hydroponic greenhouses are environmentally controlled, the need for herbicides and pesticides are greatly reduced.
We’re about healthy futures
On the surface some might say what we do is simple – we grow and supply fresh produce… sure this is true but we believe we do a bit more than that! We believe we encourage the opportunity for good health and wellbeing and contribute to a local sustainable farming future for Australia.
When it comes to the environment we are always looking at ways to reduce our impact. We take our impact on the environment very seriously and do as much as we can to minimise our carbon footprint.
From planting to harvest, packing, packaging and logistics, sustainability is at the forefront of our minds. After all, without nutritious soil, fresh clean water and air, our produce wouldn’t quite be the same.
We are always trying to improve on and work closely with our packaging suppliers to move towards the ideal place of supplying our produce in 100% sustainable packaging.
Choosing trays made from environmentally friendly bagasse (plant derived pulp) rather than plastic reduces energy and water consumption. Not only is it recyclable but can be composted as well!
Further innovations we are driving with our suppliers include plant starch plastic wraps and sustainable paper products.
On farms we use reusable plastic bins for harvesting and work with our customer base on using reusable plastic crates opposed to single use board options for loose stock.
Food waste is an issue, we get it, we can see it and we take action each day to reduce our impact.
From working with a variety of customers and markets we are able to move more of the total crop, an opportunity limited in the past. We also take responsibility as growers ourselves and with our grower partners to plant responsibly, not over plant and plant to forecast whenever possible.
Even our scrap waste from our main packing site is collected daily and given to farmers for stock feed. We can and do find a home for everything. Not only does this minimise food wastage but also rubbish in landfill.
From innovative irrigation and filtration systems to rain water tanks we have invested in how we use water across the board.
Our growing story and the very foundations the Hydro Produce business is built on is growing hydroponically and today we still farm the large majority of our primary lines this way. Hydroponics is the most water efficient way to grow produce, using only 10% of the water requirements to that of a field-grown crop.
An expanding story for Hydro Produce is how energy smart we are.
From solar panels on farm to the use of the latest technology for efficient refrigeration systems right down to the light bulbs we use, we are changing the way we power our business.
Making a positive difference
We believe in giving back and embracing opportunities to make a positive difference in the communities we live in, farm in and operate in.
From sponsoring local grassroots sporting teams, funding young or start up growers, suppling fresh grown produce to charities, providing expertise for assistance or simply lending a helping hand. It’s important to give back because it does make a difference.
SCHOOLS & EDUCATION
We understand the importance of education, for us especially in horticulture. We love the opportunity to share and inspire young people on farm life, growing and why food is important.
That’s why we like to offer local schools near our farms the chance to come down and see how different produce is grown. We often have them involved in a harvest exercise, which sees them using the produce in a cooking experience.
VARIETY THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY
We have supported Variety for many years now and this charity is one that is close to our heart.
For so many children throughout Australia challenged by circumstance, Variety is able to help when government assistance isn’t available or families are financially unable to provide things like therapy, medical supplies, wheelchairs and at home disability access.
This organisation, its fearless leader Ronni Kahn and its mission are an amazing outfit.
The work of OzHarvest is putting the value back in food through creating a conversation around food waste and helping people access food that would otherwise go without.
In March 2018 we participated in our first OzHarvest fundraising event raising just over $70,000, that’s enough funds to provide 140,000 meals!
We believe that everyone has the right to good healthy, fresh food. Nutrition can change a person’s life – when you eat well you have every opportunity to do well.
We look forward to supporting the mission of OzHarvest into the future.