Coca-Cola Amatil may take on board recommendations to increase productivity of SPC Ardmona, if its acquisition is cleared. The company may encourage fruit growers to invest in higher-yielding planting systems, new fruit varieties and environmental certification if the purchase is successful.

A strategic plan developed by the Canned Fruits Industry Council of Australia was carried out in June this year made these recommendations, and suggested that new systems to improve labour productivity in processing and growing, and new technology to gauge fruit quality be investigated.

A CCA spokesman said yesterday (20 December) that a review of the SPC Ardmona business and world horticultural practices to be undertaken by CCA once the acquisition was finalised would be based on the industry's strategic plan.

Growers and SPC Ardmona employees hold about 26% of SPC's shares and have the capacity to block the deal, which requires approval from 75% of shareholders under a scheme of arrangement.

SPC's board unanimously supports the acquisition and has recommended that shareholders approve the scheme at meetings in February.