SPC Ardmona cut-back hits Aussie farmers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 30th October 2012

SPC Ardmona has upset Australian peach growers with its decision to cut the amount of fruit purchased this year. SPC has said that SPC will cut its peach quota by 17 per cent due to a “significant fall” in consumer demand.

Peach growers have reported that they were only informed of the cut after they began preparing for the season, with some individual businesses expected to lose tens of thousands of dollars. In spite of this, SPC Ardmona has said the company genuinely believed that the cut was communicated to growers in advance, and that it would work on strengthening communication in the future.

The cut was considered necessary due to a 14 per cent decrease in sales, despite increased activity and promotion. Furthermore, the high Australian dollar has impacted on export opportunities for the products, while increasing competing pressures from cheaper imports.

SPC Ardmona is a subsidiary of Coca Cola Amatil which has announced expansion plans in its drinks business as previously reported in Australian Food News.

Australian Food News also previously reported in July 2012 that Australia’s last remaining major Australian-owned fruit processor, SPC Ardmona, received substantial funds from the Victorian government to update its manufacturing plant.

SPC Ardmona Managing Director Vince Pinner said in a statement in July 2012 that financial support from the Victorian Government was critical for SPC Ardmona. He said that rising imports, rising costs and the significant strengthening of the Australian dollar have altered the trading landscape dramatically for Australian manufacturers.