For episode 15 of “Let’s Talk About..” I have a chat with Lindsay from The Stanthorpe Fruit Company.
Lindsay knew from a relatively young age that he wanted to work in the fruit and vegetable industry but as he finished school, he decided to apply to get into the air force instead. An accident that caused a permanent injury resulted in his acceptance into the Airforce being revoked and after 3 long years trying to get in, this was very disheartening for Lindsay. But, at the same time, it gave him a chance to go back to what he loved, fruit and vegetables. So Lindsay went out to work on an Apple farm in the Stanthorpe area. He wanted to find out first hand what problems the farmers faced so he could find a solution.
Watch the Vlog here-
What Lindsay found when working on the farms was pretty disturbing. Farmers working hard on small family farms can’t afford sorting and packing equipment so they have to send their apples to a packing shed where the commercial practices seem a bit dodgy and not in favour of the farmers at all. Farmers are at the mercy of these businesses because without them, no big chains will take their fruit ungraded. Loads of fruit are deemed unworthy of supermarket shelves and some big, ruthless mainstream juice companies wait until right at the end of the season to come in an offer farmers next to nothing for the fruit they can’t sell.
Listen to the podcast here –
What Lindsay saw then was that the next season, farmers didn’t even bother picking the apples and let them fall to the ground to rot because it was not worth their while to employ pickers. Lindsay witnessed such food waste and decided that there actually was something he could do. Lindsay started The Stanthorpe Fruit Company and now offers small farmers ethical prices for seconds fruit an takes it to the markets and turns it into juice to sell at 7 different markets in the South East Queensland area. (I’ll put the markets you can find him at below). Juzcit has been working with Lindsay to take whatever excess we can and turn it into bespoke juices for the markets. It is now the beginning of stone-fruit season so we have just developed an Apple & Peach and an Apple & Nectarine blend that is seriously to die for.
Lindsay has also developed a proto-type piece of equipment that is much cheaper than a packing shed that small farmers will be able to use to grade their own fruit. Talk about innovation!!!
This chat is really interesting and is a great peek into the world of farmers and what they deal with to get fresh fruit and vegetables to us. I have so much gratitude for them.
Markets where you will find The Stanthorpe Fruit Company – Saturday every week – Carseldine, Yandina, Burleigh Heads. Sundays – Milton, Nundah, Redcliffe. Once per month – Nanango