We’re famous for apples, but that’s not all we do.

Batlow has a long and proud history of producing Australia’s favourite apples since 1922, and is an integral part of the Ausfarm Fresh Group. While Batlow has a rich heritage steeped in the tradition of apple growing, we now offer a delicious range of fresh produce and fruit-derived products to the world – all proudly Australian grown on Australian farms. Above all, Batlow is a trusted source, renowned for its ‘just picked’ freshness and excellent quality.

The Batlow Secret

So what makes Batlow Australia’s favourite apples? For over 95 years, Batlow apples have become famous for their delicious, sweet taste, their crisp, crunchy, juicy texture and shiny, colour-filled skin. The secret to Batlow’s legendary apples is a unique combination of ideal growing conditions, careful orchard selection, our superior varieties, how they are grown and a world class grading and packaging process.

Above all – location and climate

At Batlow, we only choose orchards in areas with deep, rich soils, consistent rainfall, best practice farming and cleaner air and water, which together create the perfect ‘sweet spot’ for growing the crunchiest, juiciest apples.

A major part of the Batlow secret to growing great apples is a very precise climate. High altitude (above 2,500 feet) and sub-alpine climates create ideal growing conditions for apples. The cold night air and warm, sunny days ensure that our apples ripen at an ideal rate, and to exceptional colour.

Our three key growing regions of Batlow, Orange and Stanthorpe are high altitude areas, perfectly suited to growing the finest quality apples.

Batlow is 450 kilometres south-west of Sydney, New South Wales, on the western slopes of the pristine Snowy Mountains, approximately 2,500 feet (800m) above sea level.

Orange is 254 kilometres west of Sydney in the Eastern Tablelands of New South Wales, approximately 2,828 feet (862m) above sea level.

Stanthorpe is 217 kilometres west of Brisbane, Queensland, on the Great Dividing Range, approximately 2,660 feet (811m) above sea level.

We carefully manage the combined inventory of the orchards in our three major growing areas, in addition to packing and marketing the apples.

Generations of experience

Batlow only source apples from trusted growers, most of whom have been producing premium quality apples for us all of their working lives. Generations of growers with years of experience and passion help us get the very best from nature. Nurturing the relationships we have with our growers is vital when it comes to consumer confidence, as transparency and accountability is of the utmost importance in the food industry.

An apple for all seasons

By planting high-density orchards, we have significantly increased the fruit harvested from each hectare, while greatly reducing production costs – enabling us to deliver a more competitive offering to our customers all year round, and a long-term, sustainable business for the future.

Advanced management systems

The Batlow secret continues to evolve, as growers and horticulturalists find new and improved ways of not only growing apples and other produce, but also controlling pests and minimising any damage to crops.

At Batlow, we endeavour to provide consumers with a safe product, grown under an environmentally sustainable production system. Advances in technology have lead to non-chemical means of controlling codling moths. This technology, known as mating disruption or IPM (Integrated Pest Management), involves the use of small dispensers placed in the trees, which emit synthetically produced female pheromones to confuse the male. IPM disrupts the mating cycle, controlling the pest.

Widely used by Batlow, this breakthrough technology has completely changed the ecology of our orchards, allowing naturally occurring beneficial insects to survive and control other pests.

Packing and handling

Distributing an average of one million cartons of Australia’s favourite apples every year, Batlow is recognised as one of the largest storage and packing operations in Australia. We have invested heavily in the latest technology to ensure a consistent premium quality, and our advanced handling methods are worlds apart from the hand-packing techniques of the past.

Once our apples are grown and picked, the Batlow secret then extends to a specialised washing, grading, packing and storage system, which has again set the standard in Australia.

Batlow is one of only a handful of packing sheds in Australia to attain the world-recognised quality standards of ISO 9002 and HACCP 9000. We continue to be proud of our achievements and look forward to providing the best tasting apple experience to Australians into the future.

Superior technology delivers ‘just picked’ freshness

While the perfect growing conditions create the perfect apple, it’s what we do next that makes all the difference. A key part of maintaining Batlow’s rigorous standards is our controlled atmosphere technology. This allows us to preserve the apple’s ‘just picked’ freshness and quality. Rest assured, when it comes to the crunch, Batlow apples are delivered in pristine condition, ready for customers to enjoy.

Our history

Over 95 years ago, a group of like-minded farmers came together to create the Batlow Fruit Co-operative. Since then, Batlow has grown to become one of Australia’s most elite producers of fresh produce and fruit-derived products. As we look to the future, we will continue to build on our long and proud history.

In the beginning

In the years preceding World War 1, there was a focus on primary industries and farming, with governments encouraging growers to market produce in a more effective, unified way. The establishment of associations and boards, as well as the pooling of goods was part of this strategy.

Always ahead of the crowd, Batlow growers had already achieved the benefits of unifying as a group, in areas such as transport and purchasing. As the number of Batlow orchards grew, the Batlow Co-operative Cool Stores Company was established.

20,000 shares were issued for the Batlow Co-operative Cool Stores Company at 15 shillings each. The key original shareholders were H.V Smith, A.J Arnot, A.E Herring, Charles Smith, G.M Arnot, J.H.G Hubbard and E.M Herring.

Furthermore, a separate Co-operative, the Batlow Co-operative Packing Company was formed in 1923.

The next stage

In 1927, the Cool Stores and Packing Companies amalgamated to form the Batlow Packing House and Cool Stores Rural Co-operative Limited. In 1939, the name was shortened to the Batlow Packing House Co-operative, and in 1967 renamed Mountain Maid Foods Co-operative.

On November 2, 1978 the Mountain Maid Foods Co-operative was officially renamed the Batlow Fruit Co-operative Ltd. The Co-operative employed many local residents and actively supported the community, and still does today.

Continued growth

In 2017, recognising a huge opportunity for growth, the Batlow Co-operative became a company, and through new investment became an integral part of the Ausfarm Fresh Group.

About Ausfarm Fresh

In a world that increasingly craves fresh, safe, delicious produce, Ausfarm Fresh is a dependable, reliable source of clean, high quality produce from Australia – a place that still has a special magic when it comes to fresh food. Ausfarm Fresh embodies the philosophy of being ethical, sustainable and responsible – with a long-term benefit to the environment and society, thereby creating ongoing value for all. With a commitment to best practice governance, Ausfarm Fresh is home to a stable of quality brands, which allows us to share ‘the magic of fresh’ with the world.

Meet our growers

Our growers are dedicated, passionate people, who are extremely proud of the hard work they put in to achieve their reputation for growing the best apples in Australia. We’d love you to meet our growers, and learn a little about exactly who and where your favourite apples come from!