This article is sponsored content brought to you by Simpson Farms.
The story of Simpson Farms begins in 1969, when Ron and Fay Simpson started a tomato-and-sugarcane operation near Bundaberg. By the late 1980s, they had founded Goodwood Plantation, now Australia’s largest avocado orchard. Now managed by Ron and Fay’s four daughters and their husbands, Simpson Farms encompasses 1,100 hectares and is one of the country’s largest producer of fresh-pack avocados, producing over two million trays a year. Simpson Farms is also Australia’s largest producer of processed avocado products, producing over 1,500 tonnes annually.
But there’s more to it than the numbers, says director John Walsh. “Having the land is the most important base for our business,” says Walsh. “Simpson Farms is a farming family and values its connection to the land and the trees and its place in the farming community.” Harvesting at Simpson Farms is done by hand. The company keeps its processing facilities close to the orchards themselves, to minimise cost and impact on the environment, and it focuses on safety and quality at every step in the chain. Simpson Farms grows Hass, Shepard, Wurtz and Reed avocados. Once picked, the fruit is sent to the company’s state-of-the-art packing facility. The Goodwood packing operation boasts a 4,500m2 facility featuring the latest computerised grading equipment, in-line sticker application and a sealed loading dock, which provides access to the 360m2 cold room. Another 216m2 of cold-room space is used for pre-cooling and bin storage.
The company adheres to strict HACCP guidelines and food grade processes. Simpson Farms is accredited
to SQF 2000 level 3, and its packing facility is ICA-03 and ICA-19 accredited. As a national distributor, Simpson Farms employs strict treatment regimes to ensure compliance with interstate protocols. “We have suppliers and customers that work closely with us to improve and develop the chain required to get the products to the marketplace,” says Walsh.
Customer needs are “integral in all aspects of the business”, says Walsh. This drive for innovation and understanding of the marketplace has kept Simpson Farms at the leading edge of technology, and has created products such as Premium Chunky Avocado and Seasoned Avocado Pulp, designed to be used as fresh avocado replacements.
Simpson Farms remains true to its commitment of meeting demand while providing security for its staff, suppliers and customers.
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