Australian peach growers say they were only informed of SPC Ardmona’s decision to cut its peach quota by almost 20 per cent after they had begun preparing for season.
The growers say the short notice will leave them out of pocket, with some individual businesses set to lose tens of thousands of dollars.
SPC Ardmona, Australia’s last remaining major Australian-owned fruit processor, says it genuinely believed it had informed all growers in advance, and will work to ensure communication methods improve in future.
The company cut its peach quota by 17 per cent due to “significant fall” in consumer demand.
It said the cut was necessary due as sales have decreased by 14 per cent, despite increased activity and promotion.
SPC Ardmona also pointed to the high Australian dollar as part of the reason for the cut to the quota, as well as the cheap imports flooding the market as a result of the supermarket price wars.
Furthermore, the high Australian dollar has impacted on export opportunities for the products, while increasing competing pressures from cheaper imports.
SPC Ardmona is a subsidiary of Coca Cola Amatil which has announced expansion plans in its drinks business as previously reported in Australian Food News.
Earlier this year the company announced it would be embracing new packaging technology to reduce costs.