In this Edition
Hi all!

In this edition of Fresh Perspective we'd like to introduce you to some of the 'new guard' at Pershouse Produce, Adley and Kelan, who are learning the fine art of produce sales and distribution.

We are also taking a look at Towac Valley, one of Pershouse Produce's largest apple producers based in Orange, New South Wales. The farm produce's some 2,500 tonne of apples, and is also a large cherry producer. We talked to Tim Hall from Towac about the farm and some of the challenges they face.

And finally, our 'Looking After Each Other' campaign is in full swing after the campaign launch on 30 May, 2008. Despite the deluge of rain, the breakfast launch at the Brisbane Markets was a huge success. Helping Pershouse to launch the campaign were league greats Kevin Walters and Chris Johns, and also cricket legend Ian Healy. Special thanks must go to the team at AE Chaves, Brisbane Markets, who kicked off the campaign with a very generous donation.

oh...and an apology...we have a new inclusion in our newsletter...Peter Kedwell's joke of the month. Trust us...this was the 'best' one!

Grower Profile - Tim Hall, Towac Valley
Who would ever have thought Orange (in New South Wales) would be one of the biggest apple producing districts in Australia?

According to Towac Valley apple producer Tim Hall, it used to be even bigger than Stanthorpe.

“Orange has a great climate for growing apples – in fact a great climate for growing a number of orchard fruits. It used to be a bigger producing district than Batlow and even Stanthorpe!” said Tim.

The Hall’s apple and cherry orchards span some three properties, with around 230 acres under orchard. Varieties grown include Galas, Red delicious, Granny Smiths and Fuji apples. Around 2,500 tonne of produce is grown and distributed. The company also packs for other growers – a business direction that is being cultivated by the Hall’s.

“With all of the quality and HACCP standards required to pack apples, let alone grow them, we saw an opportunity to perform these tasks on behalf of the many growers in the district. Keeping up with the administration and implementation of the vast array of requirements under these standards is a costly exercise. Our packing facility is a much more financially and time efficient option for many growers.”

Tim and his brother Bernard are in partnership in the business, with parents, Fred and Pam Hall, still actively involved in the operation. Tim’s wife Robyn does the administration for the company.

“I’m not sure how the next generation will fair – growing produce is such a hard life. I hope my kids look to experience something else first before returning to the land - if that's what they want to do. Farming really is a lifestyle choice because it can be all consuming - especially during planting and harvesting”

Meeting the challenges of growing produce certainly keeps the Hall family on its toes.

“While we haven’t had the water issues that many producers have faced in other regions, Orange growers have had other important issues to face. For example, our climate here is replicating that of Stanthorpe (QLD) in that we are experiencing more hail storms. So hail damage minimisation and hail netting is an issue for us.”

“And, keeping up with new varieties and managing costs are always something we need to keep an eye on. Hybrid varieties of apples play an important role in doing that – they have great colour and are a consistent product, which means the cull rate is lower. So we are always looking to update our plant stock to maximise our land. As a district we could probably improve a little on our use of new product varieties.” said Tim.

Staffing is also an area that may have an impact on the district in the future.

“We tend to use the new ‘grey nomad’ labour to pick our fruit as well as locals, but we now have a competitor for laboour with a gold and copper mine in operation in our district, so we are finding that employing locals is becoming more difficult – we can’t compete with mine wages.”

“But that is the nature of farming – there is always something to deal with.”

Winter Produce Update
Winter is a traditionally a great time of year for produce growers in Queensland and this year is proving to be no exception.

Queensland more congenial winter climate allows the state's growers to continue to produce a wide variety of produce - indeed the state becomes the 'salad bowl' for Australia during this season.

Alwyn Weier, from the Pershouse produce vegetable sales team believes that this year, the Brisbane Markets will be busy with the Bowen season looking to be big this year.

"Vegetables for the most part have been in fairly good supply this year, but with the southern states suffering with the cooler weather, we are really looking forward to the winter market trading of our Queensland produce." said Alwyn.

"The Stanthorpe season is winding back, and Bundaberg has had some rain - meaning that crops such as sweet potato, capsicums and beans were in lighter supply. So a bountiful Bowen season will be welcomed."

Just some of the produce lines to come out of Bowen include corn, beans, capsicums, tomatoes, zucchinis and rockmelons.

Recently, Pershouse Produce Managing Directors Peter Kedwell and David Pershouse visited the Bowen region and were optimistic about the upcoming season, with all indications being that plantings were high, and crop yields would mirror this.

Gatton is also still producing quality broccoli, shallots, silverbeet and cabbage.

On the tomato scene, Pershouse's Rob Mann believes that demand for the fruit will increase once the Bowen product starts to hit the market.

"Bowen and Bundaberg are climates that produce a superior product - more richer in flavour and fuller in colour. we usually get a spike in demand when it gets here - retailers look forward to it." Rob believes.

On the fruit side, apples, custard apples and avocados are still in good supply, while bananas have steadied.

New Kids on the Block
Recently two of the younger members of Pershouse Produce stepped up to fill some pretty big shoes while some of our sales team were on leave. Kelan Brown and Adley Malickson were given the opportunity to try their hand at sales – a job that both handled with aplomb.

“We have been shadowing the sales guys for a few months now – I guess we are like apprentices’ said Kelan, who works closely with Chris Georgiou and Cameron Kedwell in the fruit sales area.

Adley agrees that they have been working their way up to sales for some time.

‘It has been a great experience and everyone here is really supportive. I have been working with Robbie Mann for a while now – learning from the ‘Master’. We have been exposed to all aspects of the business from cleaning through to order picking and stock management.” said Adley.

But both boys want to move more into active sales roles.

“I really enjoy sales,” said Kelan, “I like dealing with people, and this job gives you an opportunity to do that. It’s also interesting – no two days are the same.”

Pershouse Produce General Manager, Greg King said that developing the younger staff was an important part of Pershouse’s people management strategy.

“The younger crew are a vital part of the company’s future. It gives us depth and also injects some fresh enthusiasm – which you do need given the hours we work. So we make sure that we not only train our staff but give them a career path to follow.”

We will look forward to following the careers of these two young guns in the years to come.

Campaign Launch a Great Success
Last month in Fresh Perspective we unveiled our 'Looking After Each Other' fundraising and awareness campaign.

The campaign was launched at a the Brisbane Markets on 30 May with a breakfast fundraising BBQ, raffles and of course, the introduction of our new Toyota forklifts, Patsy and Persy.

On hand to help launch the campaign were rugby league legends Kevin Walters and Chris Johns, and cricket icon and sports commentator, Ian Healy.

Despite the rain (and it absolutely poured!!) the launch was a great success.

Pershouse Produce will be continuing to promote and fundraise for the Kim Walters Choices programme and the Prostate Cancer Foundation throughout the year.

Donations to the campaign can be made through Pershouse Produce. Contact Laura Koman at to find out more.

Pictures from top to bottom:

Kevin Walters and Ian Healy help to launch the campaign; Ian Healy; and Pershouse's Chris and Dolores manning the BBQ

Joke of the Month
What do you call a mushroom who shouts the bar? A really fun-gi (as in fun guy)! Get it?

Here is a list of just some of the produce available right now* at Pershouse Produce

Broad beans
Brussel Sprouts
Butter Beans

Honeydew Melon
Kipfler Potatoes

Okra Beans
Spring Onions

Sth Gold Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

*subject to supply conditions.

If you have a story or article that you think would make a great addition to Fresh Perspective contact;

Laura Koman
Ph: 07 3379 3034

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