Green solution: Bundy avocado farm tray-ds in plastic
SIMPSON Farms is the first avocado producer in Australia to implement a new fully biodegradable tray liner for packing fruit to help the environment and reduce waste.
The family-owned business is the largest avocado producer in Australia and a world leader in innovation.
Between 1.6 and 1.8 million trays containing either 16, 20 or 28 avocados each of Shepard and Hass varieties are grown from Simpson properties in the Goodwood area and leave the farm packed and ready for sale each season.
The new biodegradable tray liners will replace up to 1.8 million plastic tray liners every year.
Ron Simpson and his wife Fay started farming tomatoes and sugarcane in the Bundaberg Region in 1969 before making the switch to avocados, a decision which helped them became the nation's largest supplier of avocado products.
The business is now primarily managed by Ron's son-in-laws, all of whom are directors and have a significant role to play, and always looking for innovations to ensure the local company stays at the number one position.
Tony Reading is one of these directors and he said converting from plastic fruit tray liners to the recyclable product was something they had wanted to do for some time, and even though it cost more money to implement the initiative.
"We are aiming to reduce the waste through the business and one way to do that we found was with the packed product, and we've done this with Orora in Bundaberg and our tray liners,” he said.
"We are taking the waste out of the packed product by replacing the plastic trays with recyclable paper trays and after people purchase the fruit at the shop, the trays can go straight in to the compacter along with the cardboard box and then go to be recycled.”
Mr Reading said the next step was the fruit labels, with the team working to make them biodegradable, rather than the widely-used plastic ones.
"We are hoping other producers will follow our suit right around Australia,” he said.
"We have always been proud of our product that leaves the shed and now we can be proud of the whole item.”