Perfection Fresh Australia announces acquisition of Moraitis tomato-growing business

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th January 2015
Perfection Fresh Australia announces acquisition of Moraitis tomato-growing business
Perfection Fresh Australia announces acquisition of Moraitis tomato-growing business

Australia’s largest family-owned fresh-produce marketing company, Perfection Fresh Australia, has announced it will boost its tomato category position with the acquisition of the Moraitis tomato-growing business.

Michael Simonetta, Perfection Fresh Australia CEO, said the tomato category had been a “major focus” for the Company’s growth and was “one of the fastest growing segments globally”.

“We believe that innovation will provide new growth opportunities to create largely untapped demand and ultimately grow the category,” Mr Simonetta said.

Competition in modern tomato technology heats up in Australia

The emerging two main players in the tomato-growing segment in Australia are the Perfection Fresh group in partnership with the Vicfam Group (a subsidiary of the Victor Smorgon Group) with its expanding glasshouse complex in South Australia, and the Costa group with its glasshouse operation in Armidale in New South Wales. Australian Food News reported in December 2012 that the Perfection Fresh and Vicfam group venture, d’VineRipe, had opened Stage Three of its environmentally-friendly glasshouse operation in South Australia. Also, the Sundrop Farms greenhouse operation is an emerging player, based near Port Augusta in South Australia and has its own seawater desalination plant.

Perfection Fresh business growth

Perfection Fresh currently employs almost 600 staff at 13 sites across Australia.

The newly announced acquisition of Moraitis includes the 4.7 hectare glasshouse at Tatura, Victoria, access to a strategically aligned network of tomato growers and the license to Kumato Tomatoes. Perfection Fresh said the addition of the Tatura glasshouse to its portfolio would significantly enhance the company’s capacity to service the Australian market and will complement the already established D’VineRipe glasshouse at Two Wells, South Australia and protected cropping at Noosa, Queensland. The investment aligns with the Perfection Fresh business strategy to build Australia’s predominant tomato production facilities with investment in production, licensed varieties and fresh value-added processing.

Additional tomato varieties and brands

Perfection Fresh said the expansion of its tomato business, with additional tomato varieties and brands would “add to the Company’s specialised expertise and knowledge”.

“We are particularly pleased to add the Kumato to Perfection Fresh’s carefully selected varietal range which includes Il Bello Rosso Baby Roma, Romatherapy Baby Roma, Sweet Solanato Tomato, Zima Golden Snacking Tomato, The Original Grape tomato and D’VineRipe Medley,” Mr Simonetta said. “Kumato is a uniquely coloured tomato that changes from a bright green skin to its ideal dark brown colour when ripe. Kumato Tomatoes are extremely sweet and have a strong and distinctive taste,” he said.

“As the largest family-owned fresh-produce business, we will continue to work with our strategically aligned partners and other leading Australian growers who have expertise in tomato growing,” Mr Simonetta said. “We plan to continue to expand our growing facilities, producing high quality fresh produce while creating job opportunities across the country,” he said.

‘Business as usual’ for Tatura glasshouse

Perfection Fresh said that for management, staff, customers and industry it would be “business as usual” at the Tatura glasshouse with no job losses.