About Us

All about Toughnet

 

ToughNet UteToughNet was established by the Batlow Fruit Co-operative Ltd, that been involved with all aspects of the Australian apple industry since 1922. Today ToughNet remains 100% owned by the Co-operative.

In 2004, the Co-operative board identified a need for a worldwide strategic review of apple production. The review looked at numerous factors affecting current and future production as well as the factors influencing expansion, re-investment and succession of family orchard businesses.

One major finding to come out of the review was the need for reduce weather risk and to deliver surety in production - Growers today must produce an economically sustainable and marketable product every season.

The prime factor preventing Growers from doing this was found to be the environment - hail, wind, sun and birds. An investigation was then undertaken into the current means of hail netting and crop protection across Australia and overseas.

An opportunity was identified for a product which worked along the same lines as a European style of "anti-hail netting" that was not currently being offered in Australia.

Three years later the ToughNet range of products was established based on a European style "controlled release" design of hail netting re-designed for Australian conditions.

ToughNet employed independent engineers to verify the design and construction of products and adapt them to the unique Australian climate.

The initial development of the ToughNet business and its product range was focused on five key objectives which had been identified following an extensive review of the factors limiting the installation of protective canopies in Australian horticulture:

  1. The system had to be more cost effective than existing systems.
  2. The materials need to be durable, preferably, re-locatable.
  3. The systems need to be suited to DIY installation (by the grower).
  4. The systems needed to incorporate a "controlled release" mechanism to reduce loading on the structure.
  5. The structure should serve as both a trellis and as a protective canopy support.