The co-operative has negotiated a walnut drying price with Southern Seed Technology (SST) near Irwell,
Canterbury. We are not operating the drying service ourselves but are just facilitating the arrangement
between the grower and SST. For ease of administration (of both SST and growers), the co-op will pay
SST in bulk for all walnut drying then deduct the relevant amount from the final payout of growers who
choose to dry their walnuts at SST. The price for drying (with transport to factory and storage included)
will be not more than 55c per kg of wet walnuts, but we are still finalising details. See also notes below
about storage. Alternatively you can dry your own walnuts.
We are changing the method of measuring the moisture content of walnuts. In the past we have
measured the moisture content of the kernel only, but from 2017 onward we will be measuring the
whole nut, i.e. both shell and kernel broken up together. In addition to the method of measurement, we
will be requiring walnuts to be dried down to a lower moisture content than has been the case in the
past. See further details in this newsletter.
Storage space will be limited at the factory because our rising crop volume means that more space is
now taken up with processing equipment. The factory will need to hire off-site storage to supplement its
own. At the same time, to meet our HACCP food control plan and to ensure quality walnuts, we are
placing a greater emphasis on the suitability of storage facilities this year. This means we are in a
transitional situation with regard to storage.
To safeguard walnut quality, all growers should ensure their nuts are either sent in to the factory or
placed in an approved storage facility as early as possible after drying. If you supply over 1 tonne and
believe you have suitable facilities to store your own walnuts (and perhaps those of other growers) we
are happy to discuss this on a case-by-case basis. We may need to inspect and approve your facilities.
We would call these walnuts in for delivery when we are ready to process them. For those drying at SST
and storing their own walnuts at an approved facility, the storage and transport components of the
drying cost would be subtracted from the total. Our biggest growers need to store their own walnuts in
an approved facility as we do not have space in the factory storage for these large volumes immediately
after harvest. For smaller growers drying their own walnuts, please phone in advance to arrange for
your walnut delivery to the factory. We may charge a small storage fee to assist with off-site storage.
You will not need to size-sort your walnuts on-farm as we are purchasing size-sorting machinery for the factory. Proportions of your crop in different size categories will still be considered in determining your
payout, but you do not need to separate these size categories yourself.
We are currently reviewing the grading system and will send out the new grade definitions to you in a
future newsletter. For now, however, in this newsletter, we have listed the factors we will consider in
the grading system.
In future, we will need to view a copy of your orchard spray diary as part of our food safety plan. At the
present time, we appreciate that some growers may not keep such records, so we don’t expect you to
have these available this year. However, we aim to work with you on developing a standard recording
template in the coming year. This year, as usual, you will just be required to record on your consignment
note the names of the sprays used on your orchard. For this year, this will be your formal
As a co-operative, we are here to help our growers. If you’re unsure of any of these arrangements,
please free to contact us at the office.