Off to China

April 11, 2018

Simon Taylor and Matt Rogers at SPC yesterday.

A truck is loaded with export fruit yesterday at the Shepparton National Distribution Centre.

SPC is launching a new assault on the Asian market with the first load of processed fruit in years heading overseas.

The company has been re-energised by new technologies producing more competitive lines for the overseas market.

The company yesterday loaded a truck with peaches and pears destined for the Chinese market.

It is expected to be on the shelves within two months.

SPC manufacturing manager Simon Taylor said the export represented a turning point for the company which had struggled in recent years to climb back into profitability.

The company announced recently it was ‘‘back in the black’’, following the expenditure of more than $100million of corporate and government money on new equipment.

‘‘It’s about reducing waste, increasing efficiencies and leveraging new technologies,’’ Mr Taylor said of the strategy behind the company’s approach.

‘‘The challenge for our team in Shepparton has been to get the cost of goods right, so we can say to the marketing team: ‘go get them’.

‘‘We’ve been focused sharply on that in recent years.’’

SPC recently hosted a visit by three officials from China State Farms who inspected a factory and visited an orchard.

Mr Taylor said the company had been cultivating relationships and networks in China, with an eye on the correct cultural approach to make long-term trade contacts. SPC is employing several people in China.

The partnership between SPC and China State Farm Agribusiness Shanghai, the company’s master distributor in China, will see SPC products sold online and in supermarkets.

SPC’s plans include bringing its premium branded products to Chinese consumers through high-end supermarkets, specialty retailers and leading online and e-commerce platforms.

The company has also announced it will replace the Shepparton peach processing line with the first stage of work costing millions of dollars, starting this year.

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