South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has cut the ribbon on a $5 million high-specification new packing line that will potentially help Lenswood Cold Stores Co-operative (Lenswood Apples) increase its exports.
The apple pre-sizer line installation has been supported by the SA Government’s Regional Development Fund through Primary Industries and Regions SA, enabling Lenswood Apples to source the machinery from global leader MAF Agrobotic, in France.
“We’re proud to have supported the installation of this world-leading equipment, through the State Government Regional development fund, and help Lenswood Apples diversify and expand into new premium markets overseas” said Mr Weatherill.
“This fund helps drive economic growth and productivity and create new job opportunities for regional South Australians. It’s great to see leading South Australian businesses such as Lenswood Apples not only bringing innovation to our state, but also exporting our premium produce to the rest of the world.”
Lenswood Apples CEO James Walters said the equipment comes online at just the right time.
“Our business has been expanding rapidly to meet new orders from around Australia and the world. With this new pre-sizer, we will more than double our processing capacity, whilst we speed packing production, and maximise quality and consistency in packing,” said James. “Orders will continue to grow as we maintain our competitive edge in this way, and our team of staff is also expanding to manage this”.
The pre-sizer uses latest digital and optical technology to quickly and gently sort, grade and pack apples. Each and every apple is digitally photographed 100 times and uses ultra-high-speed IDD (Internal Defect Detection) technology to ensure the highest possible quality standards, whilst the equipment processes all fruit, in particular the smaller circumference apples often preferred by international customers, with maximum speed and efficiency.
The new equipment means that fruit can be shipped fully pre-packed for offshore retail sale, arriving at its final destination ready for sale and in peak condition.