A gourmet food revolution in Australia over recent years has seen new industries form as chefs and budding home cooks search far and wide for natural, local ingredients. But for suppliers, reliably delivering their goods to market is almost as important as the product itself.
Based in Mooliabeenee about an hour and a half drive north of Perth, Little Eeden Farm a producer of honey products and a livestock breeder, recently acquired an IVECO Daily 35S van to assist with its honey deliveries.
Operated by husband and wife team Arno and Rene Van Eeden, the couple produce a variety of honey delights including pure and unprocessed ‘bush honey’, a selection of chilli, ginger and garlic honey as well as ‘Honeymalade’ (honey-based marmalade with lemon and lime fruit) and honey-based ‘Bee Tea’.
The Daily is used to take deliveries to a fast-growing number of outlets that stock these Little Eeden products, as well as to attend food shows and other events throughout the greater Perth area and beyond.
The 35S features a generous 9m³ of load space providing ample room for the stock to be neatly stacked and secured in tubs, and then easily accessed via the Daily’s rear barn doors or side sliding door during the delivery process.
Powering the van is IVECO’s entry level 2.3 litre turbocharged diesel engine, producing 126hp and 320 Nm of torque – the powerplant is matched to the smooth-shifting 6-speed double overdrive manual transmission.
Owner and producer Arno, said the Daily had become an important part of the business, and with its colourful wrap, was also a valuable mobile billboard for the company. Finishing off the custom touches is a personalised ‘HONEY777’ number plate.
“The van is amazing, we’re very happy with it,” Arno said.
“At first we considered buying an enclosed trailer to tow behind the car but after giving it more thought, the inconvenience of parking it both at events and while making deliveries, meant it wasn’t very practical.
“We then looked very closely at most of the vans in the market and liked the Daily the best. It’s easy to drive, has a lot of power and torque for what we need and is simple to load and unload.”
With Little Eeden Farm holding around 300 beehives across three different locations, the bees have access to the best of Western Australia’s native flowers to produce a healthy and tasty bush honey.
Accessing the sites though can mean traversing some rough secondary roads, but this doesn’t pose a problem for the Daily, according to Arno.
“The Daily handles the rough road conditions easily and when driving at night both Rene and I love the headlights, which cast light into the direction the van is turning,” he said.
“Overall the level of technology and safety features in the Daily are amazing.”
Being a diesel mechanic by trade, Arno said he was positively surprised by the Daily’s generous 40,000 kilometres oil change intervals.
“Having oil change intervals of 40,000 kilometres is virtually unheard of,” Arno said.
“I mentioned this to AV Trucks in Perth where we bought the van, and they said: ‘Arno, if you have any doubts, bring the van in at 10,000 kilometres and we’ll do some oil sampling to show you that the IVECO engine is easily capable of these intervals.’”
In the meantime, with the Van Eedens supplying a growing number of stockists and attending an increasing range of markets, events and food fairs, the kilometres will no doubt soon rack-up.