Business

BIG SQUEEZE: Orange shortage leaves Bundy Juice dry

DRINK UP: Bundy Juice manager Mark D'Silva is urging residents to support the company as a nationwide orange shortage hits production.
DRINK UP: Bundy Juice manager Mark D'Silva is urging residents to support the company as a nationwide orange shortage hits production.

TWISTING the cap and taking a chug of a Bundy Juice on a hot summer day is something locals have been doing for 20 years.

But the company needs community support more than ever as their orange juice products dwindle due to a nationwide shortage of the valencia variety.

Manager Mark D'Silva said the company was warned at Christmas about the major shortage.

"We have been trying to contact growers around Australia to support the local market as opposed to getting oranges from overseas," he said.

"For many years, we have been using fruit from Australia and that is something that we really do not want to change."

Mr D'Silva said sourcing the fruit from overseas would be expensive.

"It will cost us about $1.80 per litre," he said.

"It is not a viable solution to put juice that is so expensive in a bottle because, by the time it leaves our factory, a 2L bottle will cost about five to six dollars," he said.

"The distributor will then have to put his mark-up on it and then the retailer so in the end, the customer might then have to pay nine dollars for a bottle of juice."

The company has been told there may be a five-month wait before the citrus crisis turned around but has already suffered a massive loss in production and revenue.

"We have taken on quite a hard toll on production and that has impacted our staff and everything else," Mr D'Silva said.

"We haven't had any orange juice for a couple of weeks now."

Bundy Juice is now relying on a delivery from NSW before deciding on its next move.

"We hope to get 1000L by the end of this week but we normally get 19,000L of juice a fortnight," Mr D'Silva said.

"We haven't been able to put a figure on loss but it has been quite significant."

Mr D'Silva said the shortage had affected four top sellers: Bundy Juice's 100% orange, tropical fruit, orange and mango and pub juices.

But, he said, people could buy other juices in the company's repertoire, like apple and blackcurrant, apple and pineapple.

The company is now looking at different ways to produce orange juice.

"We don't have the capacity to have our own orchards and squeeze our own juices so this shortage is affecting us a lot more," Mr D'Silva said.

"We are now going around to see if growers out there have the fruit and the capability and capacity to squeeze for us."

"It is unknown territory."

CITRUS CRISIS

- Valencia are a juicing orange, unlike naval which are an eating orange.

- The nation-wide shortage of the orange is due to factors including weather, overseas markets and farmers' costs.

Topics:  bundaberg bundy juice oranges


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