14 Motorway Circuit, Ormeau 4208 QLD

The Cold Chain in action in Western Australian showcase industries

The Turning the Dial event in Western Australia (28 Feb – 1 March 2023) comprised two full days of first-rate presentations covering sustainability, packaging and technological innovation.

On the third day, a group of business operators, government officials and the three-man AFCCC team (directors Mark Mitchell and Adam Wade and communications manager Ken Newton) were taken on a tour of two of Western Australia's show-case industries in grape growing and meat processing.

Each business demonstrated a keen understanding of cold chain best practice and each had embraced innovative technologies to enable them to reach export and domestic targets with confidence.

Inspecting one of the chiller rooms at Fruitico were AFCCC director Adam Wade (third from left), chairman Mark Mitchell (facing cameral), Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Terry Burnage (centre, back to camera) and Fruitico co-owner Roger Fahl (far right). Other pics are 'sweet celebration' grapes, ready for harvest, and the chillers that maintain the zero temperature cold rooms, fueled by hydrocarbon refrigerant.

These trailers, loaded with freshly picked grapes grown on Fruitico's own farms, are delivered to the production and packaging facility and cold rooms within hours of harvesting. Forklifts whisk the pallets into the zero degree cold rooms. All grapes are hand picked, one bunch at a time to preserve supreme quality. The zero degrees cold rooms have a capacity to hold up to 2,000 pallets of grapes.

Roger and Liz Fahl have been farming table grapes in Western Australia for over 20 years having gained a reputation as a premium table grape grower. In 2016 a partnership was formed with Fresh Produce Group Western Australia – Ben Tanner and Robert Nugan, born out of a vision to grow outstanding table grapes.

Their Riverdale and Hamel farms, south of Perth, Western Australia enjoy a perfect combination of climate, soil, and water. This helps grow the most flavoursome and diverse variety of sweet and crisp grapes throughout the peak Australian season of December to May.

AFCCC chairman Mark Mitchell (shown at left checking cold chain compliance data) was impressed with both Fruitico and Ryan's Meats, declaring that they were close to 100% compliant in cold chain processes of temperature control and verifying data through the critical control points of moving produce through the chain.

Established in 1966, Ryan’s Quality Meats is a second generation family-run butcher and food service business. Originally founded by Denis Ryan, today the business is owned and operated by Greg Ryan and Karl Osterberg. Greg (shown in both pics) has been involved in the meat industry for 37 years. He has guided the business from a small corner-store butcher shop that employed himself and an apprentice, into a multi-site business with more than 60 employees.