Lenswood Cold Stores Co-operative Society Limited


The Client


Lenswood Cold Stores Co-operative Society Limited (LCS) is a cold storage, fruit packing and rural merchandise business located at Lenswood in the Adelaide Hills. LCS is a cooperative society that was established in 1933; owned by the local apple growers, both small and large, who supply the vast majority of fruit to LCS’s packing shed.

Whilst many co-operative societies have ceased to exist in recent times, LCS believes it has a strong future. Whilst never forgetting obligations to the growers who own the business, the company is run as a business, with the aims of providing the best possible service for customers, and the best returns possible for growers. Whilst never easy to balance between these two opposing objectives, it is something that LCS has managed to achieve successfully for over 75 years.

One of the reasons for the company’s continued existence is the support provided by the local growers, who see a strong co-operative as one of the under-pinning strengths of the Lenswood fruit growing area, in terms of the facilities and support the company can provide, and the key role it has in the local community for providing employment opportunities.

LCS has approximately 35 apple growers who supply it with fruit, with LCS packing and marketing between 5 and 8 million tonnes of fruit each year depending upon the growing season. LCS employs 16 permanent staff, with a casual workforce ranging from approximately 20 to 60 depending upon the seasonality of packing requirements.

LCS has established a number of programs to assist its member base, which ultimately results in supporting the viability of the members and LCS. This includes strict adherence and accreditation with quality assurance programs funded by LCS, along with an Orchard Development Program which provides interest free loans to members to redevelop orchards to enable optimization of the members’ mix of premium varietals.

In addition to the core apple storage, packing and marketing services, LCS also owns two stores that retail rural products and services, such as chemicals, fertilisers, pasture seed, fencing equipment and rural merchandise. These stores are integral to the co-operative’s ability to provide value-added benefits and services to its membership base and the local community.

PackManager and StoreManager


LCS has a strong relationship with GV Custom Software, having first installed the PackManager and StoreManager systems in 2003. With the assistance of GVCS, LCS is in the process of integrating these systems, which includes moving from an access database platform to SQL, as well as implementing a bar-coding system for easier and instantaneous information update to the network.

One of the strengths of LCS is its ability to trace a piece of fruit from a grower’s orchard block all the way to the end customer. The underlying PackManager system is integral in recording and tracking all fruit movements. The upgraded system will improve the record keeping, provide instant updating of the network, improve flexibility and reduce the massive paper flow and double entry that currently exists.


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