Category – Manufacturing
Sponsor – Hallam Truck Centre
Winner – Powerplants Australia
Finalists – Successful Endeavours, MGR Security Doors
The winner of this year’s Manufacturing award is Powerplants Australia.
Powerplants offers a wide variety of products and service to the horticultural industry, manufacturing its technologies and accessories at its Hallam headquarters.
Director Carl van Loon said Powerplants Australia provided customers with innovative tailored solutions allowing owners and managers to “focus on growing your business, while we take care of all your service and maintenance requirements”.
Powerplants Australia was born in 1994.
“I was working for my dad and we had a plant nursery,” Mr van Loon said.
“I used to do all this technical work for him – climate control systems and all that sort of stuff.
“I was self-taught.
“Whenever I was buying things, we were buying greenhouse equipment from chicken shed manufacturers.
“There wasn’t a proper horticulture industry.
“You were buying stuff from people who didn’t know anything about plants.
“I realised there was a niche for it and started the business with a couple of family members.
“We gradually built it up from there. I had no intention whatsoever of getting into the horticulture industry.
“I was going to be an engineer. Somehow it drew me back.”
Today Powerplants Australia employs about 30 people and food production is the major part of the business.
“We design and install and service systems for growing food – tomatoes, capsicums, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, leafy greens, herbs – basically anything that grows in the ground or grows in greenhouses, that’s our main target now.
“People seem to be moving towards better and better quality and that’s what we’re all about – helping growers to produce really high quality crops without pesticides, without fungicides and sprays by giving the plants a really good climate.”
Powerplants’ customers include last year’s Casey Cardinia Business of the Year Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs.