New Zealand based Kelston Orchards opens new multi purpose cool store and packhouse

Located in the heart of New Zealand’s apple growing region, Kelston Orchards packs fresh apples grown on their 15 orchards and also provides post-harvest services to some of the largest growers in the Hawke’s Bay.

Family-owned business, Kelston Orchards Ltd, has more than doubled the size of its Hawke’s Bay packhouse and cool store in response to increased global demand for New Zealand apples.

The new fully racked 1,200 square metre finished goods cool store has the capacity to hold 1600 pallets, adding to the current 3000 square metre, 12000 bin store , while the state-of-the-art 2,500 square metre packhouse facility features a multi-lane feeding and optical grading system capable of handling 60 bins per hour.

With technology developed in France by MAF Roda agrobitoics, the facility includes a high performance handling system which ensures apples are managed delicately and quality is not compromised at any point during the process. When not packing apples for export, the packhouse will also be used to support local summerfruit growers.

“We’ve come a long way since we first established the business 40 years ago,” said Kelston Orchards Ltd owner, Tony Harington.

Kelston Orchards export partner, Te Mata Exports, said the new advanced packing technology serves as a significant platform for growth. “The considerable investment made by the Harington family highlights a huge amount of confidence in the industry and the future global demand for good quality New Zealand apples”, said Te Mata Exports director, Murray Tait.

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