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Lenswood Cold Stores Co-operative
COMMUNITY organisation Lenswood Cold Stores
Co-operative Society was founded by local
Adelaide Hills apple growers in 1933 and has
recently become involved with the Adelaide
Produce Market, establishing a stall and
commencing wholesale fruit sales.
The Co-op's founding principles were to provide
local growers with subsidised communal facilities
for the storage, packing and marketing of apples.
More than 75 years later, the Co-op continues to
provide these (much expanded) services, and it
has a 100 per cent South Australian membership,
comprising many of those same families who first
settled the area in the 19th century.
Since it was first incorporated and the first cold
storage facilities were constructed, LCS has tried
to keep ahead of technical advance to ensure that
fruit stored and packed by LCS is done so to the
highest possible quality. There has been a major
expansion and improvement in the facilities offered
in every decade since the company was founded.
The company boasts some of the best fruit
storage facilities in the world, and ranks as the
most modern and well-equipped apple packing
sheds in all of Australia.
About 70pc of the apples of SA are packed and
marketed by LCS. The business is also ranked in
the top 100 companies in South Australia,
highlighting the importance of the apple industry
to both Adelaide Hills and the State.
LCS also provides cherry packing facilities to local
The co-op also services apple and cherry growers
and provides rural merchandise services to the
community. This includes the provision of
chemicals, fertilisers, fencing products, irrigation
and other rural products to the local farming
community via its store at Lenswood Rural.
LCS is located about 30 kilometres from Adelaide. It
is about 10km from Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills.
Members of the Lenswood Co-op must be active
applegrowers, storing 60 bins of apples at LCS
each year, and owning a minimum of 60 shares.
LCS has a membership base of 58 members
spread over 27 growers, nearly all of which are
family businesses that have been applegrowers
for many generations. Every member of the co-op
has only one vote at a meeting of the co-op, so
every member has an equal vote.
Each year, LCS stores, packs and/markets apples
on behalf of more than 40 growers.
The grower base is predominantly in the Adelaide
Hills around Lenswood and Forest Range, however
some growers are located in other districts,
including the Barossa, South East and Riverland.
The key services provided by LCS are the storage,
packing and marketing of apples and cherries.
The Cold Storage capabilities of LCS enable the
storage of the equivalent of about 16 thousand
apple bins of space. LCS operates 24 refrigerated
rooms of varying sizes. It has controlled
atmosphere storage for 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, seven
days a week. Each room's atmosphere and
temperature is recorded constantly to ensure that
all products are stored correctly.
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 a presizer to sort
every apple into size, blemish and colour
specifications; a 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 1 kilogram 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.
Linked to the packing shed, LCS offers marketing
services whereby LCS sells fruit on behalf of its
growers. This is operated as a wholesale
LCS has an extensive customer base, including
the major supermarket retailers and independents
throughout SA, as well as supplying produce into
all states and territories within Australia. LCS also
runs an export program of Pink Lady apples to the
United Kingdom and Europe and cherries to South
The company boasts some of the best fruit storage facilities in the world, and ranks
as the most modern and well-equipped apple packing sheds in all of Australia.
About 70pc of the apples of SA are packed and marketed by LCS. The business is also
ranked in the top 100 companies in South Australia, highlighting the importance of the
apple industry to both Adelaide Hills and the State.
3 Endeavour St, Warragul. Vic. 3820 Ph 1300 880 056 Fax 03 56234314
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