Valleyfresh, Etherington launch joint venture
The 900sqm facility, Packing Station, will offer pre-packing, storage, and distribution services to third parties, and will be located in Perth’s Market City.
Garth Lockyer, Valleyfresh chairman, said the two companies had been mulling over the project for the last 12 months.
“For a long time now there has been need for a better pre-pack option on Australia’s West Coast,” said Lockyer.
“Pre-packing is a tricky business but by working on this project with Etherington, our combined expertise should make this venture a great success.”
Simon Powell, account manager, Valleyfresh, said the new facility will also offer opportunities to its eastern seaboard customers to have the confidence to go west.
“Taking three days to transport fresh produce pre-packed in Sydney or Melbourne has never been very viable,” said Powell.
The premises will initially focus on citrus pre-packing, however, this will expand over time to include other ranges and categories. In terms of pre-pack options, Packing Station will offer flow wrapping, net bags, and strip bands for fresh produce, in a quality controlled and temperature controlled environment.
To facilitate a smooth and efficient launch, Valleyfresh will send personnel to Perth to govern the rollout and the initial training of staff, while Etherington will introduce more people as the facility’s capacity grows. Both companies have emphasised Packing Station will always remain independent, with both set to use the facility as paying customers.
Grant Etherington says Packing Station will be an independent packer and service provider for national suppliers to assist them in servicing WA supermarkets – an offer that currently does not exist.
“We feel that with our combined commercial abilities this project will mesh well, and the timing for its launch is spot on,” said Lockyer.
This Perth joint venture adds to Valleyfresh’s operations in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, representative offices in Peru and South Africa, and its US subsidiary, Valleyfresh North America.