The Siciliano enterprise is owned and run by three brothers, Tony, Bruno, and Fred, the second generation of the V F Siciliano family that commenced farming in Woorinen North in 1954. It started by growing grapes and tomatoes, later to rockmelons, and ultimately, stone fruit.
Starting from these humble beginnings, combining with hard work and a vision for growth, has seen the expansion of the Siciliano enterprise to more than tenfold the original farm, transitioning over time from the numerous horticultural activities to a passion for growing stone fruit.
In early 1998, a new packing facility was constructed to allow for the increase in stone fruit production from the Siciliano farming properties, and the sourcing of stone fruit from select local growers.
The concept was to supply the Market with stone fruit that was consistent in quality and in volumes to suit the needs of domestic buyers while purchasing from one supplier.
The Family members
The three Siciliano brothers have specific roles that complement the efficient operation of the enterprise:
Bruno, Tony & Fred
Tony Siciliano – Marketing Manager.
Tony is based at the Packing Facility in Woorinen, and also spends set days at the Melbourne Markets during the stone fruit season (summer), and he is the first point of contact for all sales. He is responsible for establishing new business as well as negotiating with existing customers.
Bruno Siciliano – Farm Production Manager.
Bruno is based at the farming properties in Woorinen and controls all aspects of the fruit production. He also liaises with our joint venture growers developing farming practices and the orchards.
Fred Siciliano – Packing Facility Manager.
Fred is also based at the farming properties in Woorinen and is in control of the operation of the Packing facility during the season along with the distribution of the packaged fruit. He also controls the administration of the Company’s interests.
Tony, Bruno and Fred’s respective wives also work in the business over the summer months and are an integral part of the team being hands on in the packing facility.
The next generation is also getting involved in the business. Family members are gradually joining the enterprise working hands on and taking responsibility for either farming and/or packing activities.
The company employs up to 150 workers during the stone fruit season, involved in the harvest, sorting, packing, distribution and sales of the stone fruit, in order to meet the demands of its customers.
The Farming Properties;
Located in Victoria’s renowned stone fruit growing district of Swan Hill, the Woorinen North properties are approximately 15 km North of Swan Hill. The district’s unique growing conditions mean that V F Siciliano & Sons can grow and supply the best tasting nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots available.
The Swan Hill region is the ideal location for growing juicy and great tasting stone fruit as a result of the high level of winter chill, which determines crop level and ultimate fruit size, combined with high amount of sunshine between late winter/spring through to the autumn months.
During the stone fruit season the Packing Facility handles in excess of 10,000 tonnes of stone fruit supplied to local and overseas customers.
Part of the Orchards during summer;
Stone fruit trees during blossom;
Peaches prior to harvest;
Plums grown with Trellis in full blossom;
Apricots grown on Trellis prior to Harvest;
The Siciliano Packing Facility;
The Packing Facility is located at one of the Siciliano properties amongst the local stone fruit orchards, situated at 411 North South Road, Woorinen North, Victoria, Australia.
The Facility, with the last significant expansion in 2011 to accommodate the growth of the enterprise, makes it a state of the art packing, storage and distribution facility, covering over 10,000 square meters.
Its proximity to orchards enhances and streamlines the start of the cold-chain process.
When the fruit is harvested, it is hand-picked in the orchard and then delivered immediately to our packing facility. The fruit is checked for maturity when it arrives, and immediately washed and Hydro-cooled to enhance the fruit’s shelf-life.
The fruit is then sorted and packed using the latest computerised grading equipment comprising 3 packing lines, complemented with 2 pre-pack lines, utilising the latest packaging products.
Throughout the grading process, quality inspections are taking place to ensure the highest quality fruit is selected for sale, while rejecting any inferior fruit.
Maximising the quality process is enhanced with our fruit traceability system that enables us to determine the origin of all fruit that we package and supply, ensuring that we market the best fruit to the consumer.
The facility has SQF Code Edition 7.1 Level Three accreditation as well as satisfying the Woolworth, Coles and Aldi accreditation levels.
Harvested Nectarines in bulk bins delivered to the Packing Facility;
Nectarines in our Premium Tray Line;
And, our Pre-packed Apricots;
Stone Fruit’s geographic region:
Our stone fruit is grown in one of Australia’s largest stone fruit growing regions located in North-West Victoria’s Swan Hill district;
Part of the southern region of the Greater Sunraysia Pest Free Area.