We have been known as Lenswood Apples since 1933. But the story of our pursuit of excellence starts long before then, set in the beauty of the Adelaide Hills.
It was the mid-1800s when early settlers first thought the Lenswood Valley would be a perfect place to grow apples. They were right – and from the beginning our pioneers set out to grow their fruit to perfection.
In the early years, so many in the district travelled the world in search of ways to become better orchardists. One young grower keen for discovery left town on his bicycle and spent two years on the road, looking for industry advances.
Something special was happening in the Lenswood community. Growers were sharing their knowledge and they began to see great benefit in working together on the future.
At a public meeting in the September of 1933 it was voted to establish the Lenswood Cold Stores Cooperative Society.
A founding group of 39 growers had united over the need for apple storage.
The first expansion to the cold store facility came just two years later as more growers began storing more apples to sell on better markets.
With the construction of its first packing shed, the Co-operative’s business expanded from storing into also packing and marketing member’s apples.
Strong export markets to the UK were created and more growers from the district took up shares in the increasingly successful collaboration.
New buildings, extensions or equipment upgrades were constant in this period. Something new was commissioned every 5 to 10 years – and the Lenswood achievements were repeatedly celebrated by government officials and the community the Co-op was supporting.
These were times of change. Export markets were lost when Britain joined the common market and the industry underwent significant restructuring. Lenswood rose to these market challenges, innovating for greater efficiencies and introducing new marketing initiatives.
The Co-operative is never static. Multi-million dollar investments maintain our process & packing facility at the highest international level.
Innovation is our way. Each generation brings something new to what is now Lenswood Apples.
In 2014, our reputation for excellence was confirmed, with Lenswood Apples grower & director Robert Green named the acclaimed ABC Rural Australian Farmer of the Year for his continued achievements in apple orcharding.
Every day, we continue to craft a future full of new varieties and more reasons to love apples.