EXCITEMENT is growing among a group of Coast farmers over a new hub for their sweet and juicy harvests.
About a dozen pineapple growers who supply to Pure Gold Pineapples could soon have a purpose-built processing and packing facility central to their Coast farms.
Glass House Mountains grower Murray Pike said his family operation started supplying to Pure Gold Pineapples about seven years ago, shortly after the company expanded to the Coast from Central Queensland.
The majority of the company's Sunshine Coast growers are in the Beerwah and Glass House Mountains area but it does have farms at Elimbah and near Coolum.
Mr Pike is also on the board of directors of Tropical Pines, the Central Queensland-based parent company of Pure Gold Pineapples.
The company currently leases a packing and processing shed from strawberry producers Gowinta Farms but last week gained Sunshine Coast Council approval to build a new hub on Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah.
"The ultimate aim is to have your own facility where you can do the things you need to do to modernise the packing line," Mr Pike said.
He said that could include some mechanisation for things like sticking labels on fruit, which is currently done manually.
"Trying to maximise returns to growers is really what we are looking for."
Pure Gold Pineapples managing director Derek Lightfoot said a new facility would not come cheap, expecting the cost of land, council and Main Roads approvals as well as the build to reach between $3.5 and $4 million.
Mr Lightfoot said the facility would be used to prepare fruit for transport to major supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths as well as produce markets around Australia.
He said significant growth in the Sunshine Coast division of the business in the past five years had encouraged the expansion plans.
"The Sunny Coast has traditionally been the biggest producer of pineapples in the state," Mr Lightfoot said.
"We have very experienced farmers on the Sunshine Coast."
He said he wanted to confirm some of the building costs before he committed to a start date for construction of the new shed.
"Our intent is to do it but I still want to get a better handle on what the costs are going to be."