South Australia’s Lenswood Apples has confirmed reports it has made a number of redundancies, prompting suggestions the cooperative could be set to disband, according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
The 83 year-old business has endured a tumultuous past 12 months, headlined by a severe hail storm last October that decimated the state’s key production hub in the Adelaide Hills.
Lenswood’s chairman Iain Evans told the Advertiser that a number of managers and staff, including marketing manager Julian Carbone, had been let go, as the cooperative tries to recover from “the worst hail event in living memory.”
The redundancies come after chief executive James Walters resigned with immediate effect in October.
The Advertiser reported plans have been tabled to disband the cooperative in favour of putting a new structure in place. The claim comes amid rumours of a large grower leaving the cooperative, which is currently made up of 24 members.
“We still have all of our members and the board is considering whether a cooperative structure is the best structure going forward,” Evans said.
“We have notified our members that we are looking at alternative structures, members are aware.”
Apple and Pear Growers Association of South Australia chief executive, Susie Green, said the October hail storm had affected 95 per cent of growers in the Adelaide Hills, a region that grows in excess of 80 per cent of the state’s apples.