Australia’s Freshmax acquires majority stake in California broker

07/23/2012 04:52:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

The Freshmax Group, Sydney, Australia, has acquired a majority stake in Prime Harvest USA, a produce brokerage formerly based in Kingsburg, Calif.

Scott Jones, company founder, will remain with Prime Harvest Inc. in Dinuba, Calif., as general manager, said Simon Gillett, general manager ― international, of Freshmax Pty. Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Jones also will be responsible for day-to-day operations, Gillett said in an e-mail.

Jones said being part of the Freshmax Group will be benefit both companies.

“They come with a world wide web of where produce is grown, not just in New Zealand but also Spain and Egypt,” Jones said. “We’re pretty strong in customers in Asia. It strengthens the supply chain and the customer base for both of us.”

Prime Harvest will continue to export fresh produce, but Freshmax intends to expand the newcomer’s functions over time, Gillett said.

Freshmax has rights to a wide range of proprietary brands and varieties, such as the Mahana Red and Kiku Fuji apples, to which Prime Harvest will now have access, he said.

Since its founding in 1995, the Freshmax Group has expanded to include import, export, wholesale, marketing, ripening, wholesale and direct-to-retail operations in Australia and New Zealand, according to its website.

Before the Prime Harvest acquisition, Freshmax had 14 regional offices in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.



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