Perfection Fresh Australia and D'vineripe to merge

Australian companies Perfection Fresh Australia and D’VineRipe have announced that they will merge, effective 1 July.

Perfection Fresh is one of Australia’s best known marketers of fresh fruit and vegetables. Started in 1978, the family business has evolved from wholesale and now takes care of production, processing and marketing.

D’VineRipe operates the largest glasshouse in Australia, based north of Adelaide. Established in 2006, D’VineRipe is a joint venture alliance between Perfection Fresh and family business The Victor Smorgon Group.

The merged company will continue to operate under the name Perfection Fresh and for growers, staff, customers and the industry it’s business as usual.

The integration of Perfection Fresh, and its subsidiary Picasso Foods, with D’VineRipe aligns the two company strategies to control 70 per cent of total sales through production, licensed varieties and fresh value added processing by 2018. This includes a 50 per cent increase in protected cropping to 150 hectares.

The companies currently employ more than 500 staff at 12 sites across Australia. The merger creates future employment growth opportunities, with plans to expand Perfection Fresh operations across Australia and into additional categories.

Australians will see more job opportunities across the company as it develops product lines and categories, with plans to create 150 jobs over the next year.

Michael Simonetta, Chairman of Perfection Fresh said, “We are excited to continue to bring high quality fresh produce, new and fresh processed products to the Australian market place – while creating job opportunities across the country.”

Victor Smorgon Group Joint Managing Director and D’VineRipe CEO, James Orloff said, “Our family business has a long history in food production and manufacturing, this is the next step in that evolution. Our new partnership with Michael and John, and their great team, gives us the ability to expand using innovative farming and growing methods to take advantage of Australia’s changing place in the world food chain.”

For more information:
Kristie Emerson
Fresh Australia Pty Ltd


Perfection Fresh Australia and D'vineripe merger FAQ:

Q. How will this affect customers and growers?
It is business as usual for all customers and growers.

Q. Will staff lose their jobs? Will there be any job losses?
There will be no job losses. In the next 12 months, we anticipate there will be job growth across the business in the vicinity of 150 additional jobs across Australia.

Q. What are the plans for the future?
In the next few months we will finalise significant expansion plans for the tomato facility in Two Wells, SA. We also plan to expand our blueberry facility in Bundaberg, QLD. Both of these regional areas will benefit from additional employment opportunities as a result. Other expansion opportunities are also currently being reviewed.

Q. How did this merger come about?
Perfection Fresh and D’VineRipe have enjoyed a strong and effective partnership for the past seven years. This merger is a natural progression to ensure the company, staff, customers and growers will continue to benefit.

Q. Who are the Directors of Perfection Fresh?
The Perfection Fresh Board will consist of Michael and John Simonetta, Peter Edwards and James Orloff.

After 30 years, Vince Simonetta will continue as a shareholder but will take a step back from the day-to-day operations to spend time with his family and explore other opportunities outside of the business.

Q. Is the company now owned by overseas investors?
The company will continue to be 100 per cent proudly Australian owned. We are one of only a few large horticultural companies that will remain 100 per cent Australian owned.

Q. Who owns the company?
The shareholders will be the Simonetta family, The Victor Smorgon Group and the Orloff family. The Smorgon philosophy continues that all shareholders are treated equally and all decisions are unanimous.

Q. Will you continue to invest in the Australian market?
We plan to invest and grow in a number of categories, including; fresh prepared foods, tomatoes, brassicas, berries, mushrooms, grapes, mangoes, lettuce and proprietary products.


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