In a boost for the South Australian apple industry, JVJ Co, a partnership between Lenswood Apples and Rivercorp Land & Water Limited will supply global beverage company Lion with 3.5 million litres of apple and pear juice annually under a new deal.
The deal means Lion will source a significant amount of the apple juice used in its cider production from South Australia, shifting from current supply in Victoria. Lion’s premises in South Australia has a dedicated cidery on site which produces ciders for the whole of Australia.
JVJ Co was founded in late 2015 and is an apple processing and juicing facility located in Monarto, SA, currently producing over 100,000 litres of juice per week. CEO Fergus McLachlan said the deal represents a great milestone for their company which will see them double their staffing numbers from five to 10.
“The apple industry in this State is undergoing some significant challenges at the moment but the ability to create a profitable market for our second grade fruit by juicing has offered a genuine buffer for our business,” he said.
The deal with Lion follows a $9.1M grant Rivercorp received through the Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP), a joint initiative of the State and Federal Government. The grant was used to build a brand new juicing and storage facility and establish improved shade netting across part of the company’s Riverland orchards.
3IP is funded as part of the $265M South Australian River Murray Sustainability program, which is funded by the Federal Government and is being delivered by PIRSA over six years to mid-2019.
“The South Australian River Murray Sustainability program has helped us secure a new sustainable income source but more importantly the long-term flow-on effects in terms of employment and economic spin-offs for local businesses, schools, supermarkets and the wider industry are immense,” Fergus said.