RC-APD staff and students were treated to an afternoon in the beautiful Adelaide Hills when they visited the orchards and manufacturing facility of Industry Partner Ashton Valley Fresh as part of the Professional Development Series.
Co-Director Joseph Ceravolo provided a detailed tour of the site, which included extensive descriptions of how apples are washed, sorted, and optically graded before moving on to the pack-house ready for the retail market. Aspects of cold storage, pathogen control, pasteurisation and quality control for juice production were explained, giving the visitors a new appreciation of the complexities of the processing chain.
Sustainability is very important to the family-owned business, and considerable efforts have been put towards minimising the environmental impact, including minimising water wastage, solar panels on most of the sheds, recyclable packaging, and an onsite wastewater treatment plant. It was a productive and insightful day for all RC-APD students and staff.