Tuesday 17th July 2012, 11:45 London
Freshmax buys Prime Harvest
Freshmax has acquired US produce trader Prime Harvest USA, which will form the core of the groupís North American presence
New Zealand’s Freshmax group has finalised its acquisition of Prime Harvest USA, the San Joaquin-based trading company which will act as the lynchpin of the group’s North American presence.
Freshmax has been working on the acquisition since late last year, intending to use Prime Harvest as its new base of operations in Kingsburg, California.
Prime Harvest will act as a Northern Hemisphere trading company, allowing Freshmax to locally run US import/export operations and manage the company’s growing intellectual property (IP) portfolio in North America.
“It’s part of our strategy going forward,” Freshmax Group CEO Tony Mahoney told Asiafruit earlier in the year.
“It’s two-fold. We wanted an office for best practice procedures for product leaving the US, before arriving in New Zealand or Australia. We want to make sure we get the quality assurance right before the produce leaves the country, and to make sure we’re working with the best people.
“We’ve also invested heavily into intellectual property `IP`, and for the IP we’ve invested in, we want to partner with the same kind of growers in the Northern Hemisphere; for a 12 month supply we want to get the same quality and consistency.”
Prime Harvest currently acts as an exporter and marketer of US West Coast produce, shipping to markets in Canada, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Freshmax said the company will also develop opportunities for exports from the group’s New Zealand and Australian supply bases.
“We see ourselves as a major component in the group’s international growth strategy into the future. We have a successful framework for providing existing and new customers’ quality product in key categories,” said Prime Harvest’s general manager Scott Jones.
Freshmax has seen rapid expansion and a range of corporate acquisitions in recent years, and was given an additional boost in December with New Zealand private equity group Maui Capital’s purchase of a 60 per cent share in the company.