Provincial Coldstores has its origins in realising an opportunity and ongoing innovation.
Murray Ingram and Ian Barnes responded to a coldstore space crisis in the late 1980’s. Provincial Coldstores Ltd was established 16th October 1990, with a new facility on the former Marlborough Lucerne Meal factory at Old Renwick Road, owned by T H Barnes. Customer demand quickly initiated cool storage expansion in 1991, followed a purpose built blast freezer and expanded tonnage in 1992. The company has always been responsive to regional capacities, and a further 4000 tonnes was added by 1995.
Meanwhile storage of apples demanded a new site, and the Spring Creek store was leased from Neylon Developments Ltd, in Gouland Road. It was up to capacity by 1996, so a second stage with two dual temperature rooms were completed in March 1997. Construction of 16 controlled atmosphere rooms came online in 1998, especially for the apple export market. Provincial Coldstores also purchased a plant especially for cherry and apple fumigation, which unfortunately declined after just a few seasons.
By this time, the region was rapidly changing; the fortunes of apple growers were declining, and the grape growing industry was expanding substantially. These new storerooms were put to good use, principally by the wine industry.
The Old Renwick Road site has steadily expanded; a further blast freezer (2001), upgrading and expansion (2003). Rack systems were installed in 2004 and expanded again in 2008, increasing efficiency of storage space. Two further rooms have answered customer demand; Room 9 (2007) and Room 20 (2009). Ambient storage use has increased over the years, with a specialised wine barrel room and cool storage offering a temperature range from +10 to -25 degrees Celsius.
A sophisticated computer inventory system was introduced in 2006, tracking every unit of produce stored across both facilities. Clients can register their produce from arrival, packing, transition to export, distribution or storage. Automated remote satellite racking was introduced in 2009, increasing efficiency for staff and clients.
Energy efficient automated LED lighting is being installed in 2014. See more about this green initiative at: SUSTAINABILITY
Thanks to Richard Morriss, Company Accountant PCL, 2014 for research notes.