New NZ$150m Auckland facility to improve retailer’s fresh produce supply chain

New Zealand supermarket chain Countdown has officially opened its new Auckland NZ$150m Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre (AFDC).

Countdown Charging stations for manual handling equipment at Auckland Fresh

The 20,000m2 facility features state-of-the-art green design and technology to ensure fresh produce is kept at optimal temperatures throughout the entire supply chain and will service Countdown stores across the North Island.

The opening followed Countdown’s recent announcement of plans for a new NZ$99m fresh distribution centre in Rolleston, Canterbury.

director of property, Matthew Grainger, said with the new AFDC now open and the Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre (CFDC) expected to open in 2024, customers right throughout New Zealand will be able to experience first-hand Countdown’s dedication to freshness.

“Our local growers put such an immense amount of care and effort into the produce they supply us with and we have a responsibility to show that same level of effort and care as it travels from farms and into our customer’s baskets and trolleys,” said Grainger.

“Innovation in cool chain integrity is embedded into the new AFDC and every element of the purpose-built facility has been designed to put the quality of locally-grown produce on display - from the refrigerated trucks that transport the produce from the farm through to the varied temperature-controlled zones or ripening rooms that ensure produce is in peak condition when it reaches our stores.”

The AFDC has also been designed to a four Green Star standard, meaning it meets rigorous international sustainability standards for design, construction and operation.

“We believe it’s a privilege to be in the business of food in Aotearoa and being kind to the planet is a huge part of making sure we can provide fresh food to Kiwis for years to come,” said Grainger.

“We’ve invested heavily in a future-forward design and implemented features like rainwater harvesting, electric forklifts, solar panels and low energy and water-use condensers to help us towards our 2025 sustainability commitments. The solar generation at Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre alone will offset approximately 183 tonnes of CO2 per year.”