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Merger positions company as Australia’s biggest grape business

Grapes HarvestPerfection Fresh Australia and FruitMaster have announced a merger of their table grape businesses.

The venture will position the new group, now trading as FruitMaster Australia, as the nation’s largest table grape grower and marketer.

Perfection Fresh Australia CEO and FruitMaster Australia Director Michael Simonetta said the merger created significant benefits for all stakeholders.

“Our strategically aligned third party growers will continue to play an integral role in the future of the business and will enjoy the same level of service and unparalleled access to new genetic grape varieties,” said Simonetta.

“We expect to market two and a half million boxes of grapes this year, split between our third party growers and our own production. The increase in production volumes opens the business to a broader range of customers domestically and internationally, and will enable us to provide greater opportunities to our global customers.”

FruitMaster Australia Director and CEO Joe Lanteri said he was excited to have access to the breeding program and proprietary genetics Perfection Fresh Australia brought to the merger.

“These capabilities will enable us to better respond to consumer trends and bring the very best in new grape varieties to market,” said Lanteri.

“There are already several new exclusive grape varieties that have recently cleared quarantine and with the merged network of farms and third party growers, we will be able to accelerate the introduction of these varieties and previously released varieties to retailers.

“We are also working on product innovation with a new production line being installed at our Robinvale facility that will enable us to pack snacking cups of individual grapes as well as a dedicated line that meets protocol for some export customers.”

FruitMaster was already Australia’s largest exporter of table grapes and Simonetta said the merged FruitMaster Australia remained committed to increasing export volumes.

“We are exploring opportunities through all of Asia, Middle East, and other markets,” said Simonetta. “The current grape protocol for China is workable but we need continued government support in establishing new export markets and to truly capitalise on the free trade agreements.”

 

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