Perfection Fresh has announced that it has moved to full ownership of Fruit Master Australia, one of the leading vertically integrated table grape businesses in Australia. The transaction comes after key partners Joe Lanteri and Brett Pickering decided to exit their shareholdings in the business. The long-term partnership between the two businesses makes the acquisition a natural evolution for Fruit Master and Perfection.
The addition of Fruit Master brings a vertically integrated table grape operation with four strategically located farms across NSW, VIC and QLD and a strong network of strategically aligned grower-partners across Australia. Importantly, it also includes the rights to grow and market proprietary table grape varieties from some of the world’s leading breeding programs.
Chief Executive Officer Michael Simonetta said: “The acquisition is an excellent fit with Perfection Fresh and aligns with our focus on strategic channel growth in fresh produce both locally and in export markets.” He added: “We have enjoyed a long-term partnership with the Fruit Master business and with Joe and Brett deciding to move on the time was right.”
Brett Pickering has decided to retire after spending a lifetime in the export trade, developing a trusted reputation and strong connections with customers all around the world. Joe Lanteri will stay on as a consultant for 3 years working on new projects and to assist with the integration, ensuring his considerable knowledge and experience is retained within the Perfection Fresh Group.
Michael Simonetta said: “We will be forever grateful for Brett’s contribution to the business, and we look forward to working closely with Joe over the next few years.”
Australian table grapes are the highest fresh fruit horticultural export, worth more than $623 million in 2019/20.
“We see this as an opportunity to further our capability in export markets. Around 70% of Australian grown table grapes are exported*, predominantly to Asian markets, where premium Australian grown produce is prized.”
In addition to export growth Perfection Fresh sees an opportunity to restore value to grapes within the domestic market, which has declined in recent times.
Michael Simonetta said: “The vast majority of Australian consumers are generally only familiar with grapes by colour – green, red and black. The reality is there are some amazing varieties that can indulge consumers and we look forward to working closer with our customers to highlight these opportunities.”
There are many different eating occasions grapes can cater to. With different shapes, sizes, tastes, and textures there are specific varieties perfect for snacking, cooking, and adding to a cheese plate!
Perfection Fresh will continue to focus on growing categories, identifying unique varieties, and offering product experiences that reflect consumer trends. In essence, bringing more choice and premium produce to consumers and value to the entire supply chain.