June 2017

6 APAC / June 2017 , 1703AP18 Freshness First Freshmax is one of the largest fresh produce marketing businesses across Australia and New Zealand. MatthewCrouch, Freshmax GroupMarketingManager tells us more about the group and how it grew to become the success it is today. “Freshmax is a Produce Marketing Business. We play a role right across the supply chain which from running our own orchards and packing sheds, to working with hundreds of growers across Australia and New Zealand and around the world. Our aim is to deliver produce of the highest quality to consumers both domestically and overseas.” Established in New Zealand in 1995 and privatised in 1997 through a management buyout which brought ENZA subsidiaries Freshmax and Frucor Produce together, Freshmax is now one of the largest fresh produce marketing businesses across Australia and New Zealand. “It was originally founded in New Zealand in the mid-nineties, however, since then we have grown significantly through the acquisition of a number of other companies, between which we have gained at least another 50 years’ of experience.” In 2006, Wolseley Private Equity partnered with Freshmax to reposition the company in Australia and to develop a leading Australasian fresh produce platform. Over the following years the business grew significantly through the acquisition and integration of John Holman & Co, Panda Ranch, Oztaste, Grewal, De Luca Banana Marketing (DBM) (Australia) and Opey (New Zealand). Maui Capital purchased Wolseley’s majority shareholding in the Group in late 2011, as the Group embarked on a journey to further expand both geographically but also by offering. Today Freshmax offers one of the most diverse intellectual property portfolios as well as a diverse and services offering. The year 2014 saw Freshmax become a major shareholder in Valleyfresh, solidifying their global operations – Valleyfresh is an import / export specialist with offices in nine different countries. Today, the Freshmax Group comprise one of the largest fresh produce marketing and distribution operations in the pan- Pacific region serving a global customer base in 25 countries across four continents, exporting quality fresh produce via both air and sea. “In Australia and New Zealand we have significant relationships with all major retailers and also with Australian Wholesale Markets,” explains Matthew of Freshmax. “We also work with ‘My Food Bag’ in New Zealand. On a global scale, we have operational footprint in seven other countries, via our export subsidiary ValleyFresh and trade with all regions of the world.” Total Management of Production Value Chain Consumers need to know that the fruit and vegetables they are eating are safe, healthy and ethically produced. The Freshmax Group is committed to working together with supply partners to achieve these goals as well as reduce the impact that we are having on the environment. Freshmax uniquely offers customers total management of the production value chain from “field to fork”. Growing As well as running its own orchards and packing sheds, the Freshmax Group continues to invest in joint venture growing and post-harvest operations that will deliver growth in key categories for the business. Technical The business’s technical and field teams assist its supply partners to achieve excellence in orchard and field management, quality and food safety, as well as provide real time data to its customers around the world. Ripening Product ripening is a key competitive advantage for the Group. At its state of the art ripening centres in New Zealand and Australia, Freshmax has the ability to ripen a range of core products including avocados and bananas. Pre-pack Freshmax has a long standing role in fruit and vegetable prepack solutions in both the Australian and New Zealand markets. In Australia this service has expanded greatly in recent years through the Valleyfresh acquisition. Valleyfresh deliver a large proportion of the fruit related prepack requirements for some of Australia’s largest retailers. Quality Control Whether it be apples from our Hawke’s Bay, or nectarines from our Swan Hill – Freshmax aims for complete traceability. This ensures confidence from our customers that we will deliver to a standard that their customers deserve. To achieve this, the business has developed a regional quality control and supply pathway plan to ensure product quality and customer specifications are met and managed at each critical part of the supply chain. Distribution and Logistics Freshmax has developed infrastructure and processes to ensure the freshest end-to-end product management locally and internationally. In New Zealand, Freshmax has been governing the Distribution Centres nationally for one of the country’s largest retail customer for more than 20 years. Marketing The business provides a full in-house service dedicated to driving consumer demand for delicious and healthy fresh produce. Freshmax engages ambassadors and collaborators to lift brand profiles, they sponsor key events, they even self- fund TV, Radio and Outdoor advertising for their key brands. Freshmax is committed to supporting the PMA’s (Produce Marketing Association) Pick Right Feel Bright Campaign (educating kids on the fun behind eating healthily) and also New Zealand’s 5+ a day marketing campaign (eating five or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day). For the second time since the award’s inception in 2012, last year saw Freshmax win the Marketer of the Year Award

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