The co-op initially took on a three-year lease of the Tricketts Road premises. We have recently exercised our right to renew the lease for a second period of three years.
The Board of Directors of Walnuts NZ Co-op has decided that the co-operative will no longer be involved in the arrangement of drying services for growers. The board wants to see our staff time and resources focused on those tasks that growers cannot easily do themselves, namely processing and marketing. In contrast, drying of walnuts is a job that can practically be done on-farm. By focusing our efforts like this, we aim to maximise the value for growers’ crops.
This decision means that you will need to either:
- make your own arrangements with a drying service – either as an individual or working as a collective with a group of growers who are using that service; or
- build your own drying equipment – again, either on your own orchard as an individual grower, or working with nearby growers to set up a shared facility.
The co-op, along with the NZ Walnut Industry Group, aims to help you get set up with your drying arrangements for 2018.
Given the weather and being aware that some growers are having difficulties with the changed moisture content standard and moisture measurement method for 2017 (8% whole-nut moisture) we have decided to treat the 2017 harvest as a transitional year as we move toward these standards, and allow some variation around these ideals. To that end, for 2017, walnuts will be accepted as meeting the moisture standards if they are below 9% whole-nut moisture OR if they are below 5.5% kernel moisture. We hope this will assist growers with the transition.
As always, if you require any further information / clarification please, in this instance, contact our GM, Shane, direct.
Our General Manager, Shane, writes:
We will also be sending a further update on Grading within the next two days but essentially the only key difference is that, in addition to the main Categories:
- REX, MEYRIC, NZ PURPLE, WILSON WONDER & SEEDLING (previously referred to as WILD),
- we have introduced a new Category “ GRAFTED – OTHER”. This category covers Grafted Cultivars other than those listed. These other Grafted Cultivars (eg. 101, Vina, etc) can be combined into one bag or bin but will still be considered a single line for Grading purposes based on Quality and Size.
The co-op has issued revised Terms and Conditions of Supply. You can find it here.
The factory has issued a new consignment note for use with nuts supplied from the 2017 season. It can be found here.
Our GM, Shane, reports to the board at our monthly meetings, covering operational matters at the factory, health & safety, and the previous month’s financial results. Items of interest include:
- There is work underway on a new grading system for the 2017 harvest – details should be out to you soon. The new grading system should be robust and transparent from a financial audit point of view, and provide quantitative data to growers on the quality of their crop so the grower can see why a particular grade was given.
- We are considering the purchase of a second cracking machine to enable us to deal with the high volume of walnut supply predicted for this coming year.
- There has been work done at the factory to determine the costs involved in each of our products. A lot of data have been gathered and analysis is underway to help us understand which products are most profitable for us.
- We are participating in a business evaluation and coaching programme called ‘Enterprise DNA’ run by KPMG, with funding assistance through Callaghan Innovation. This will help us identify and act on areas for improvement in our leadership, strategy, marketing, networking with other businesses, customer relationships and other areas.