Client story: The Casotti Group

What our clients say about insuring their business with Achmea Australia
Family-owned and operated for three generations, the Casotti Group in Western Australia is one of Australia’s largest private growers, packers, and wholesalers of quality fruit.

Their story began in the 1920s, when family patriarch Giovanni Casotti quite literally planted the seed that started their fruit growing venture. Back then, Giovanni was simply growing fruit for his restaurant. Today, the company supplies Woolworths, Aldi, Canning Wholesale Markets, and some of the larger independent retailers in the state, with quality fruit. They have been doing so for over 40 years.

The Casotti Group is “dedicated to providing safe, quality produce, grown and harvested in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.” To deliver on this commitment, the company relies on their ability to pack and distribute quality produce to customers daily.

Switching their farm insurance to Achmea Australia in 2021, the Casotti Group have the support of a specialist agricultural insurer, and protecting and enhancing a sustainable future for agricultural communities.

“When we first spoke with Achmea Australia, they came out and visited our orchards,” said Sam Russo, Group Accountant for the Casotti Group. “I was impressed with how they engaged with us and the genuine interest they took in understanding our business.”

“They are professional and very friendly in the way they work with their clients,”

Sam Russo

The Casotti Group owns and operates two major fruit storage and processing facilities, one in Karragullen WA and one in Kirup WA, where fruit is stored, graded, and packed. Their diverse produce includes several varieties of apples, pears, plums, and nectarines, as well as peaches, apricots, and avocados. With their fruit processing facilities managing the storage and packing of fruit in excess of 35,000 tonnes per season, reliability of their operations is critical.

“Our packing facility at Kirup has been extended and renovated to include a brand-new fruit grading machine, much larger than the previous machine,” said Sam. “Achmea Australia assessed that building and we were able to take up their offer for Guarantee Against Underinsurance*, which will ensure we are fully covered if something unexpected happens, like a fire. The extra level of protection we gain from having this additional cover is essential to our operations.”

Located in the heart of the fruit growing region of south-western WA, the Kirup packing facility operates a state-of-the-art production process. Every piece of fruit undergoes strict quality control, as it is weighed and inspected by the grading machine. Once the fruit is packaged, it is palletised and stored in their brand-new automated C/A (Controlled Atmosphere) cool rooms then loaded for delivery to customers. To ensure the best results, the Kirup facility is monitored 24/7 and Achmea Australia’s Business Interruption cover is in place to safeguard their business continuity in event of damage or loss.

“Business Interruption cover is essential for our operation as our customers rely on daily deliveries of fresh produce,” said Sam. “In the event of a major loss event, this cover would help to ensure our packing and supply activities continue with minimal disruption to our processes and deliveries.”

Sam appreciates the importance of regularly reviewing and updating the company’s insurance coverage to keep pace with the growth of their operations, recognising the key role his Achmea Australia Farm Insurance Specialist plays in this process.

“To house the new grader, which is much bigger than the previous one, and accommodate the installation of new cool rooms, which are now double the size, we had to expand and renovate the shed,” Sam explained.

“Having a good, strong relationship with James, our Farm Insurance Specialist, where we talk regularly and discuss changes to the business, makes the job of keeping our insurance up-to-date a lot easier.”

Sam Russo

Unfortunately, sometimes the unexpected does happen, and when one of the Casotti Group’s delivery trucks overturned, Achmea Australia provided claims support when it was needed the most.

“We had a two-trailer roll over just outside of Perth one night in 2022 and fortunately, no one was injured,” Sam said. “We were quite happy with the level of service and support we received from Achmea Australia, both physically and financially during the clean-up and claims process.”

“It was reassuring to be able to discuss our claim directly with the assessor at Achmea Australia, so that we could contribute further information as part of the process, which helped deliver a fair outcome.”

Sam said that through their previous positive claims experience, The Casotti Group is confident in the level of support Achmea Australia provides.

“We’ve had exceptional experience with Achmea Australia, we’re very happy with the service they provide,”

Sam Russo

“Their approach is personal as well as professional, which is valuable considering you’re dealing with the insurer directly.”

“Achmea Australia offers insurance at a reasonable cost and the service they provide is what we value most. Through regular interactions with James, our Farm Insurance Specialist, I am confident that the cover Achmea Australia provides will continue to adequately protect our business operations, he said.

*Achmea Australia’s All-in-One-Farm-Pack offers Guarantee Against Underinsurance optional cover, which is available for eligible farm buildings. With this option, Achmea Australia will arrange and pay for the repair or rebuild of your insured building to the same condition as when it was new, or they will pay you the equivalent amount.