Having operated in the region since 1997, the team at Dons Fort Packing in Childers, in the Bundaberg Region of Australia, know a thing or two about the growing, picking and packing of local produce.
The family-run business offers a modern, state-of-the-art packing facility, priding themselves on quality, consistency and reliability in farming and packing.
Owner Annaleise Donovan, who operates the business with her husband Lachlan, said the company was known for growing avocados and citrus but were currently branching out into the macadamia industry at their facility in Isis Central.
“We mainly put through avocado and citrus although the citrus is what we commercially pack, they’re not our trees,” Anna said. “We have always had our own pack houses but with expansion we just outgrew the area we were in and it was either rebuild on one of our farms or do a green field build.”
Annaleise said Dons Fort Packing in Isis Central housed a large computer-operated packing machine through the middle of the building as well as de-greening rooms and cold rooms. “At the moment I think we have 45 on staff in the shed and that includes the pack house manager. Then we have our quality assurance staff which varies depending on what products we’ve got coming through as to how many we have doing that particular job. Then we’ve got our packers and our stackers and our box makers.”
Annaleise also told bundabergnow.com that the company was lucky to have such a great, hard-working team of locals and backpackers on board. “Agriculture and horticulture could not run in this area without our backpackers. We all have our core staff that are locals who come back every season but we also need others to do the stacking to do the box making and more.”
Annaleise said an exciting new chapter had started taking place at the company and involved her two sons taking an interest in Dons Fort Packing. “We have two boys that are in their twenties and they’ve both chosen to come home and they’re working with us in the business,” she said. “As a parent to think that your child might want to choose to do what you’re doing is just a wonderful feeling; they bring a completely different perspective.”