Healthy snack star of the day

IT is a staple food for many families and next week an event will be held to celebrate the humble carrot.

Harvest Moon will host the fourth Carrot Festival on April 1 at its factory at Forth.

The company is Tasmania’s largest family-owned vegetable operation and it is again throwing open their doors open for the annual Carrot Festival.

Harvest Moon managing director Mark Kable said the festival originally started as a way of celebrating World Carrot Day.

“It’s been hugely successful,” he said.

While all the tickets for official factory tours have been sold, Mr Kable said there would be plenty of activities for the whole family.

“The kids can come and dig carrots and play in the dirt,” he said. “There’s coffee van, there’s a barbecue, carrot cake, there’s all things carrots and a lot of our equipment will be on display and there will be a treasure hunt and face painting. It’s just a really fun day out.”

Mr Kable said hundreds of people attend the event which is a good opportunity to showcase what Harvest Moon does.

“We open up the whole operation and Neil and I are very proud of what Harvest Moon has achieved so we’re very keen to show it to the wider public,” he said.

“But more so to educate them on what it takes to get a product from the field and into a bag for the consumer.”

One of the products the company will be featuring is its snackable carrots.

Mr Kable said it had taken seven years to get the snackable program to where it is now, supplying supermarkets across the country.

“It took us a long time to get to this stage with the concept, the packaging the growing techniques,” he said. “It’s growing very quickly now.”

Carrots for the snackable program are supplied from Tasmania for seven months of the year and for the other five months they are grown in Queensland. The business has also bought another farm in the Riverina in NSW to grow snacking carrots over winter.

“Now we’ve got some volume, we’re also branching out into exports. At the moment we’ve got Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei on the go. It’s all about healthy snacking.”

Just over 300,000 tonnes of carrots are produced across Australia, with Tasmania being the third largest producer.