Marc Werner speaks exclusively to Fruitnet about Costa Group’s transition to new ownership and how it plans to leverage the change to accelerate growth

Costa's chief executive Marc Werner says the group is eyeing further international expansion

Costa chief Marc Werner says the group is eyeing further international expansion

Costa Group has entered an exciting new phase, according to chief executive Marc Werner, as the leading Australian fresh produce company starts to acclimatise under new ownership. 

The Paine Schwartz-led consortium – including Driscoll’s and British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) – officially completed its acquisition on 26 February 2024. 

Speaking to Fruitnet earlier this month, Werner said Costa was enthusiastic about the change considering how well the companies aligned.

“There are a lot of synergies if you look at the broader Paine Schwartz portfolio including investments into companies such as Bloom Fresh in tables grapes, but also in the BCI portfolio from a mushroom and citrus perspective. Then we have the very broad Driscoll’s partnership opportunity which we have leveraged in the past already,” said Werner.

“Going forward there will certainly be an opportunity to accelerate, which should translate into increasing market share.”

Werner said the clear agenda under the new ownership group was to grow Costa’s existing portfolio. The international footprint of the new ownership group is set to aid in efforts to develop exports and overseas operations. Meanwhile, access to new technologies and genetics will help power growth in Australia.

“We want to become an even more relevant international player by setting up farming operations in other geographies, as well as potentially setting up sales and marketing desks in those countries,” said Werner.

“The domestic produce segment will still be a key part of our portfolio going forward. Genetics will be a big opportunity as is our partnership with Driscoll’s.”

The full interview with Marc Werner will be published in the upcoming editions of Asiafruit and Produce Plus magazines. Subscribe here to get your copy