Thanks to the initiative of Motion, almond farmers now have access to premium harvest supplies from renowned Californian nut harvesting equipment manufacturer Coit and Hewes.
“This company specialises in nut harvesting equipment and manufactures original parts for OEMs such as Coe Orchard Equipment (COE), Flory Industries, Orchard Machinery Corporation (OMC), and Orchard-Rite – machinery brands that many local almond growers are familiar with,” explains Bryden Coote. “It’s great to be able to offer this to farmers here as the quality of Coit and Hewes parts is exceptional. Being Californian, they have a lot of experience with the nut-growing sector, especially in supplying quality almond harvest parts, which is a real growth industry here in Australia.”
The relationship with Coit and Hewes stemmed out of an initial phone call Bryden made. As he’s based up in Swan Hill in Victoria’s north, he works with a lot of almond growers and has specialist knowledge of their equipment requirements.
“As Coit and Hewes are such a bespoke company and make parts for many of the harvesting equipment our customers buy, I rang them out of the blue to see if they would be interested to work with us,” he says. “That initial conversation spurred further discussion down the line and the short version of that is Motion have the exclusive rights to distribute Coit and Hewes in Australia.”
According to Bryden, the Coit and Hewes parts are extremely popular.
“We made a commitment to Coit and Hewes with an initial purchase of stock in the vicinity of $400,000, but since then there have been several orders reaching into the millions – the parts are really sought after because they’re such high quality,” he adds. “As any farmer knows, good componentry will make a difference to the availability of your harvest machinery and its performance in the field. Spend more on the componentry upfront and you’ll likely to have saved money by the end of the season.”
Founded by Garry Coit and Leroy Hewes in 1988, Coit and Hewes manufactures and supplies a complete line of quality replacement parts for tree shakers, nut sweepers, harvesters, and carts. They are considered a leading source of nut harvest supplies in California.
“California is a leading global producer of nuts – particularly almonds – and Australian growers look to emulate the United States harvesting processes,” says Bryden. “Being the exclusive national distributor for this bespoke supplier is a big win for Motion and Aussie farmers. Coit and Hewes have been around for over 30 years, with one of the co-owners being a nut producer themselves, so they have a lot of firsthand experience and knowledge of the industry challenges and equipment requirements.”
The scope of equipment that Coit and Hewes provide is impressive, says Bryden.
“From tree shaker slings and pads to harvester chains and belts, the product range offers parts for every step of the harvesting process,” he explains. “Also, because they design and manufacture at their own site and have the industry experience, they’re innovative and building products that are durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of harvest. Built for rugged Californian conditions, this durability translates well to the almond-growing regions of Australia.”
The US is the world’s leading exporter of edible nuts – with statistics showing the country exported a total of 1.6 million kilograms of nuts in 2021. The state of California grows 90 per cent of the country’s nuts and almonds are its number one export. Comparatively, Australia is the largest producer of almonds in the Southern Hemisphere with over 17 million trees nationwide. The farmgate value of the almond industry is expected to exceed $1.3 billion by 2025.1-3