Andrew keaney T&G

Andrew Keaney, managing director of T&G Fresh

T&G Global completed its acquisition of Freshmax New Zealand’ domestic fruit and vegetable business on 30 April, naming the new combined business T&G Fresh.

Andrew Keaney, managing director of T&G Fresh, said the move demonstrates the progress of T&G’s business strategy of growing strong brands, harnessing innovation and leveraging its New Zealand brand.

“Our new T&G Fresh business spans the entire fruit and vegetable supply chain, from partnering with retailers, in-home delivery partners, foodservice providers and quick-service restaurants to provide them with the brands and quality they need, right through to growing our own produce and working with over 1,000 growers in New Zealand and across the world,” said Keaney.

Keaney said the company is planning to significantly invest in technology and physical infrastructure with the aim of transforming New Zealand’s fresh produce supply chain.

“It’ll provide real-time data to match supply with demand; the movement of products will be optimised, leading to increased efficiencies and reduced costs; and through superior service, customers and growers will be connected closer together, resulting in greater collaboration which ultimately benefits all stakeholders, including New Zealand customers,” explained Keaney.

“Following the 2019 sale and short-term lease back of our Mt Wellington site, and with the acquisition of Freshmax’s New Zealand sites, we have the opportunity to create a future-fit physical footprint which will better serve everyone – our people, growers, transport partners and customers,” he added.

“We’re designing a purpose-built hub to support our future growth strategy, which can adapt as technology evolves and comes-to-market, such as autonomous vehicles and automated crate and pallet stackers. Our Kaitiakitanga sustainability philosophy is guiding this process, which will result in a state-of-the-art facility, which is safe, energy-efficient and enables greater productivity.”

Joining T&G from Freshmax New Zealand is a team of 240 people, three market sites in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, a national distribution business, and a partnership to supply fresh produce to an in-home meal kit delivery provider.

However, due to the need to maintain safe working practices because of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, T&G Fresh will initially run the T&G domestic business and the Freshmax NZ business separately with the view to integrating them later in 2020.