The key services provided by LCS are the storage, packing and marketing of apples and cherries.
Storage – The Cold Storage capabilities of LCS enable the storage of the equivalent of approximately 16K apple bins of space. LCS operates 24 refrigerated rooms of varying sizes. LCS has Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage for our apples and pears (where oxygen and carbon dioxide are kept at minimum levels to prevent fruit ripening) as well as other temperature controlled rooms, where the temperature can be set and regulated in accordance with product specifications. All rooms are monitored 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Each room’s atmosphere and temperature is recorded constantly to ensure that all products are stored correctly.
Packing – In June 2009, LCS acquired the latest in sorting and packing technology equipment to improve the process of sorting and packing apples.
The equipment procured included:
- Presizer – to sort every apple into size, blemish and colour specifications
- Speed packer – to pack into cartons or crates via suction process
- Tri-belt – to provide flexibility into packing arrangements, but generally used to pack direct into cartons or crates
- Punnet packer – to pack direct into 1kg plastic punnets, which are then put through the Flow Wrap machine
This equipment is the most up-to-date technology in efficient, clean and hygienic facilities. The business has and will generate enormous efficiencies from the use of this equipment.
Marketing – Linked to the packing shed, LCS offers marketing services where LCS sells fruit on behalf of our growers. This is operated as a wholesale business, which does not sell directly to the public.
LCS has an extensive customer base, including the major supermarket retailers and independents throughout South Australia, as well as supplying produce into all States and Territories within Australia. LCS also runs an export program of Pink Lady apples to the UK and Europe and cherries to South East Asia.
Other Services – LCS provides a number of other services to customers, including:
Cherry and plum packing is performed in a segregated insulated facility which was installed in 2000. This fully insulated packing area allows the temperature to be controlled and maintained throughout the cool chain and also enables the implementation of the highest quarantine standards where required. Cherries are packed over a 6 week period during December and January, and Plums are packed during February.
To support the growers, a rural merchandise store was established in the 1950’s. The Lenswood Rural store supplies fertilizers, chemicals, rural equipment and provides agronomy advice to growers and the community.
LCS also provides numerous grower support services including agronomy advice, training, technical growing advice, benchmarking, orchard varietal mix advice, co-ordination of quality assurance programs, orchard inspections, access to Orchard Development Program and other services.