Major Australian grower-marketer Premier Fruits Group has signed a joint venture with Victoria’s Mercuri Family Farms, one of the country’s largest tomato growers.
The joint venture will give Premier year-round supplies of field-grown tomatoes for the Australian domestic market, with Mercuri’s summer production in Victoria complementing Premier’s existing autumn and spring production in Queensland.
“The joint venture will not only increase our production, but also significantly add to our marketing and supply chain strategy to ensure the Australian market is supplied with quality field-grown tomatoes all year-round,” said Premier’s director and national sales manager Dean Gall.
“We will now seek to grow the tomato category by the combination of innovation, marketing support and direct supply channels. We will look to deliver new and improved varieties to the category and to increase consumer confidence in Australian field-grown tomatoes.”
Under the agreement, Mercuri Family Farms’ director Damien Mercuri has been appointed as Premier’s national tomato category manager.
The partnership is a reflection of the broader direction of the Australian industry, which is experiencing strong demand for field-grown tomatoes year-round, Mercuri said. Mercuri produces more than 4,000 tonnes of field-grown tomatoes each year, the company said in a statement.