Large carrot grower and packer values collaborative approach
Subject: Large Carrot Grower and Packer Values Collaborative Approach
Location: Queensland, Australia
Customers: Supermarkets in Australia and wholesalers in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia
Kalfresh applies the same philosophy in the field, in the packing shed and in marketing: “Innovate to keep growing”. Its work with Japanese seed breeders to develop a unique carrot variety, its popular open day during the “Eat Local Week” to educate children about carrot farming, and regular investments in modern packing technology, are examples of initiatives that have provided the company with exceptional results and a respected place in the hearts of Australia’s Queensland community.
The Kalfresh story began in 1992, when father and son Barry and Robert Hinrichsen set up a carrot, onion, bean and pumpkin farm in Kalbar. Quickly strengthening its position in the farming sector, the company expanded its operations with washing, grading and packing lines for each produce. Today, Kalfresh is one of the preferred suppliers for the main national supermarket chain, and exports to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Kalfresh went through a major upgrade of its carrot packing shed in 2006, with Wyma as a main equipment supplier and responsible for designing the layout of the new line. “At that time, we wanted to keep on using our self-designed brush washers but asked Wyma to design a line that would accommodate for future upgrades in the washing and polishing area. We already had eyes on the Wyma Mega-Polisher™ then,” explained Richard Gorman, Managing Director.
In 2014, the carrot packing shed was taken to yet another level with upgrades to the latest optical grading, storage and washing and polishing technology. Mr. Gorman described the Australian business environment that imposed continuous search for improvements: “We have to remain competitive. Australia has some of the highest labor costs in the world and our retail market sets high expectations in terms of quality and consistency of fresh produce. Innovative, efficient and reliable pack-house equipment is crucial to staying ahead”.
Two Wyma Mega-Polishers were installed, taking the capacity of the line to 30T/hr. Mr. Gorman admitted that the Mega-Polishers were not the highest investment priority when the large upgrade began last year, but credited Wyma for working with Kalfresh to achieve the end goal quicker than they had planned: “Wyma has that rare ability to understand the growers’ needs and constraints. They are creative, flexible and willing to find a solution throughout the whole sales consultation to delivery process.”
The Wyma Mega-Polishers provide Kalfresh with reliable and gentle polishing that easily meets the presentation expectations of consumers. Its robustness, low and easy maintenance and large capacity have also been key factors in the final decision.
“We like the Mega-Polisher™, but we equally like working with Wyma. The Wyma team has respect for the customer’s knowledge and are always willing to experiment and innovate. It is that collaborative approach that makes them leaders in the pack-house equipment sector. As a grower and packer, you simply know you can work with them and will achieve your objectives,” concluded Mr. Gorman.
Kalfresh now has a state-of-the-art carrot packing facility that will no doubt attract a lot of visitors at its next open day and continue to grow the business for the next generation.