Small re­ally is good for Pur­cells

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE -

GOOD things come in small pack­ages.

It might be an old say­ing but the idea has Monto’s Naomi and Kevin Pur­cell lead­ing the charge on ru­ral in­no­va­tion with their com­pressed, vac­uum-packed chaff op­er­a­tion.

“Pack­ag­ing chaff into smaller bun­dles saves on trans­port costs, and it’s more con­ve­nient. It also re­tains its nu­tri­tional value for a lot longer when it is vac­uum packed,” Mrs Pur­cell said.

“It’s thanks to this very unique ma­chin­ery that was de­vel­oped from scratch.”

The Pur­cells first came to town and bought the business, now called Seven Horses Aus­tralia, in 2011, after the ma­chin­ery was in­vented by Monto lo­cal Snow Dwyer.

Ear­lier this year, the business was one of six in theWide Bay Bur­nett re­gion to be se­lected as part of the Cen­tre for Ru­ral In­no­va­tion growth pro­gram.

They use top qual­ity lucerne hay, as well as blends with bar­ley, oaten, Rhodes and mil­let, and vac­uum pack the equiv­a­lent of one con­ven­tional bag of chaff (30kg) into two shoe­box sized blocks (14kg each).

“We are the whole­saler, but 95% of peo­ple who pur­chase from the re­tail­ers are horse own­ers, be­cause it is so con­ve­nient when you travel with horses,” Mrs Pur­cell said.

“But peo­ple with al­pacas, stud cat­tle and guinea pigs also buy it. The guinea pig own­ers don’t buy it by the pal­lets though!”

Although the pair is still sound­ing out over­seas ex­port mar­kets, they trade in Queens­land, New South Wales, and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and are push­ing into Vic­to­ria.

“The in­ter­est in north­ern places is be­cause our prod­uct has a big ad­van­tage in hu­mid con­di­tions. Baled hay might be mouldy even be­fore you get it off the truck when you take it up around Ather­ton,” Mrs Pur­cell said.

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