Orchard Returns to Local Owners One of State's Biggest Orchards Back in Local Hands

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Prain

ONE of Queensland's biggest orchards has returned to the hands of a local family, who have now secured a multi- million-dollar deal to pack their citrus through Gayndah Packers.

The Mullett family had owned the 1214ha Monduran Citrus orchard for five generations and, after selling the majority of it in 2008 to Sydney-based fruit merchants Moraitis, they reclaimed their piece of family history yesterday.

Jim Mullett, farm manager and spokesman for what is now known as Monduran Orchards, said the sale to Moraitis was triggered after the farm had gone through a less than fruitful period.

C[pounds sterling]At the time, Monduran was the third biggest orchard in Queensland,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]It was my desire from the day of the sale to buy it back Co now we've purchased it back on our terms.C[yen]

Although he remained tight-lipped on the sale price, Mr Mullett said the orchard had been repurchased for a C[pounds sterling]very acceptable priceC[yen].

C[pounds sterling]It appears it wasn't as profitable as expected,C[yen] he said.

After patiently C[pounds sterling]waiting in the wingsC[yen] until the opportunity arose, the farm was repurchased and Mr Mullett's 26-year-old son, Alastair, is the sole shareholder and director of the company. …