Beverage firm reduces supply risk with pack-house investment
Subject: Beverage firm reduces supply risk with pack-house investment
Business: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Ltd
Location: Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
Customers: Supermarket chains, hospitality sector (bars, restaurants, cafes etc…) in over 30 countries
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Ltd is confident that its decision to vertically integrate by investing in pack-house technology and process its own ginger has paid off strategically.
The proudly Australian, family-owned business continues to grow strongly thanks to the unique flavors of its beverages which are brewed from real ingredients. It makes no compromise to maintain that point of difference.
Its world famous ginger beer uses dried ginger to create the flavor that has helped to make it an international success. Bundaberg previously purchased raw ginger from local suppliers, and outsourced its drying. Two years ago, the company decided to vertically integrate and take control of the supply of this key ingredient to reduce quality uncertainties. Richard Cowdroy-Ling, General Manager of Business Technologies, explains: “it was very hard to keep making premium ginger beer without a reliable supply of quality ginger. We knew we needed access to Australian-grown high quality ginger, handled and processed to our specifications.”
This strategic move meant growing its own ginger along with selecting Australian contract growers that met its strict quality criteria. It also meant investing in a facility to wash, peel and dry the ginger prior to further processing. Richard describes what happened next:
“The objective was to have a turn-key washing and peeling line supplied and installed by one company that is an expert in processing root vegetables similar to ginger. Because ginger is a difficult shape to wash and clean, we needed a company that was prepared and capable to work with us to develop and test the newly designed equipment. We chose Wyma, and it has been an excellent choice. We could not ask for better people to work with from initial consultation right through to the line installation and commissioning.”
The ginger line can handle 2T/hour. Australian ginger is grown in heavy soil, which brings a high amount of dirt and clods at harvest time. Consequently, Wyma recommended a solid pre-wash system with Wet Hopper and Flume Destoner to remove dirt, stones, clods and debris. “The Flume Destoner is such an elegant engineering solution for separating sand, rocks and soil from the ginger,” Richard says. The next part of the line comprises a Vege-Peeler designed to meet Bundaberg’s specific requirements. “We are happy with the output of this machine and the Wyma team worked hard to reach our specifications.” A specialized food dehydration company completed the drying stage of the line.
The fact that a family-owned company in a small town of 80,000 people in the South Pacific exports its products to over 30 countries is testament of the hard work put into delivering a premium quality product.