Batlow Apples Cooperative members have voted unanimously in favour of a proposed buy out by foreign company Ausfresh Farm Group.
The Australian apple grower cooperative will be converted into a company, with Ausfarm Fresh to invest A$10m into the New South Wales business.
Ausfarm Fresh will hold a 63.3 per cent share, with existing Batlow Apples members to receive one fully paid share in the new company for each fully paid share in the co-operative.
Batlow Apples chairman John Robson said the decision would ensure Batlow Apples could continue in the face of financial and market challenges.
“This is an historic moment in the history of Batlow Apples. The acceptance of this proposal will mean that one of Australia’s most iconic food brands will have a financially viable future.” Robson said in a statement released 4 May.
“Batlow Apples will continue to rely heavily on its growers for its ongoing success, as it has always done. For the company to succeed and grow, access to a strong and predictable fruit supply is needed.
Batlow growers will be represented on the board of the new company, with the conversion to take place once the company has been registered.
Ausfarm Fresh Group is a vertically integrated crop business with orchard, coolstores and packhouse facilities, most recently acquiring apple business in Stanthorpe, Queensland. The group is owned by family offices in Europe and Asia, and was incorporated as a privte company in Australia in December 2015.