A strategically position orchard on Australia’s east coast is aiming to close the country’s commercial lemon supply gap.
With warmer winters and a frost-free climate, the orchard near Bundaberg, Queensland is able to produce commercial volumes of lemons for Coles’ customers. This summer, the supermarket aims to become Australia's first national grocer to eliminate its supply of imported lemons.
Orchard owners, Stephen and Kathleen Stenhouse have been supplying Coles for the past four years and have tailored growing techniques to extend their lemon season year-round.
“Supplying Australian lemons and bridging the import gap is something I know a lot of citrus suppliers talk about. Stephen and I had belief that we could do it and now we are turning our ambitions into a reality,” said Kathleen.
The retailer is eager to meet its 'Australian first' sourcing policy.
“We work closely with growers across Australia to bring our customers locally-grown produce; we also try to reduce imports wherever we can,” said Coles’ general manager of fresh produce, Brad Gorman.
“This is an exciting step for their business and for our customers moving forward,” he added.
During the typical growing season, Coles sources lemons from Australian suppliers such as Mildura Fruit Company, Nutrano Produce Group, and Harvey Citrus.