Business: Mumble Peg, Narromine

A mixed farming and citrus enterprise that started as a 750 acre grazing lot for a family of 15 children has developed into a large operation of 13,000 acres exporting oranges to the world.

Narromine-based Mumble Peg started more than a century ago in 1910. The farm also features livestock and wool production along with cropping of wheat, cotton and canola and remains ideal for its location on the banks of the Macquarie River, and accessibility to major transport routes including Dubbo City Regional Airport, the railway network and nearby highways.

The Roberts family name has been synonymous with orange growing in the local district since 1923 and the business is now running with its third and fourth generations farming the land. With the ideal landscape of river soils and a warm, dry climate in summer combined with cooler temperatures in winter, the orchard produces high-quality table oranges which are picked and processed and sorted into various sizes and grades. From there they are sold as table fruit in cartons for first grade or in bulk bins for second grade or made into fresh orange juice. The peels from the juice are then used to feed livestock.

Oranges are distributed to Sydney and Brisbane to fruit and vegetable markets and exported to other parts of the world. China is becoming a large market for shipment of oranges and Mumble Peg mainly deals with exporters, agents and large fruit and vegetable buyers.

Fresh orange juice is produced, bottled and delivered across NSW and the ACT, with local grocers and supermarkets providing the main client base.

The family-run operation employs local people to work in the business and hires transport companies to deliver the products.

Their aim is to see Mumble Peg Citrus grow into a successful exporting operation of high-quality table oranges.

To that end, the business has received some public exposure but there is a need for more recognition to ensure products become better known to local communities.

There is a strong desire to continue and grow the business in the same location, relying on the strengths of quality and flavour of the products to ensure continuity.

As the third generation orchardist, Trevor Roberts said customers have a growing desire to buy products that are produced locally to them and are free from chemicals and pesticides. Hurdles include freight logistics and forms of promotion while opportunities lie in national and international market availability.

The ultimate aim is to see Mumble Peg orange juice grow into a regular staple on the tables of Aussie families and possibly throughout Asia.

“It’s very satisfying to know that we are producing a quality product that people can enjoy every day. Our aim in producing the orange juice is to have a healthy, tasty product that’s as fresh and flavoursome as if you squeezed it in your own kitchen.”