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Australian apple producer grabs bigger slice of the pie


Finding small windows of opportunity on the other side of the world, and using technology to pinpoint specific flavours, is helping an Australian apple producer reach new markets. Lenswood Apples in the Adelaide Hills grows, packs and markets more than 20,000 tonnes of fruit annually, which accounts for 70 per cent of South Australia’s apple crop and nearly 10 per cent of Australia’s national production.

The co-operative began an expansion push in 2010 and now exports about 2000 tonnes each year to eight countries across Asia, the UK and Middle East. It recently delivered 50 shipping containers of premium Pink Lady apples to the UK following a deal with supermarket chains Tesco and Morrisons. Lenswood Apples CEO James Walters said that a hi-tech packing machine and being able to identify and act quickly on opportunities had been keys to the export growth.

“We identified that there’s a four to six-week window at the end of the southern hemisphere season and before the start of the northern hemisphere season,” Walters said. “Countries like South Africa and New Zealand that had traditionally filled that gap were having quality issues with their fruit, and there was an opportunity for us to do 50 or 60 containers if we could get the job done right.”