Celebrating 45 years of innovation and growth at Perfection Fresh.
October 3, 2023
When founder Antonio Simonetta began his journey in 1978, he dreamed of connecting families with farm-fresh goodness by building lifelong relationships with growers, customers and the consumer ultimately setting the cornerstone for Perfection Fresh. Even back then he recognised the importance of farm to plate and the health and well-being of Australians.
When current CEO Michael Simonetta joined in 1984, together they realised that people desired more variety and better quality and taste from their fresh produce, which led Michael to begin scouring the globe for delicious new varieties. This desire to satisfy customers needs launched Perfection Fresh in a new direction and with the introduction of the iconic Broccolini® in 1999, coupled with commitment and persistence, set the course towards producing proprietary fresh produce signifying Perfection Fresh as a market leader.
This year, Perfection Fresh are celebrating 45 years of supplying fresh produce and are excited by the future of healthy and sustainable eating by all Australians.
How innovation shapes how we grow for the people who love our fresh produce
The motivation to introduce Perfection Fresh varieties stems from a desire to innovate and meet consumer needs. Luke Gibson, Perfection Fresh’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer says: “Innovation is at the heart of the business and has been right from the start. Delivering solutions and new ideas is in our DNA.”
From the success of Broccolini®, varieties such as Qukes® baby cucumbers,Calypso® mangoes and Cauli-blossom® soon followed turning simple fruit and vegetables into much loved brands. And just like not every tomato is the same, listening to the consumer and building upon modern eating habits drove Perfection Fresh to introduce fruit and vegetable snacking ranges and ready to eat and cook convenience packs, all of which are available in all major supermarkets and independent food outlets.
Throughout our 45-year journey, we have been a pioneering force in the Australian fresh produce industry, introducing meaningful and impactful changes. Some highlights include:
In the early-1990s, Perfection Fresh became the first to introduce vacuum cooling of field-grown lettuce in Gatton and Werribee, resulting in superior product quality and extended shelf life.
Perfection Fresh pioneered the branding of fresh produce, starting with the introduction of Broccolini® in 1999. Today, the company boasts a market-leading portfolio of proprietary branded products.
In 2001, Perfection Fresh was the first to introduce grape tomatoes in Australia, revolutionizing the tomato category. The product was called ‘The Original Grape Tomato’.
During the early 2000s, the company introduced flow-wrapped truss tomatoes to the market, enhancing product quality and shelf life.
Launched this month, Perfection Fresh continues to lead the industry with its recent introduction of the New Air Fryer Vege range. Giving the ~62% of Australian households that own and use an air fryer (or more an oven) even greater inspiration to include fresh produce at mealtimes. Consumers say, they want to eat more fresh veggies, but they avoid convenience veg offers because they don’t look appetising.
Proud Australian growers
Proudly Australian grown by Australian growers means that your favourite fruits and vegetables are available year-round. The success of the past 45 years has enabled Perfection Fresh to form strong relationships with strategically aligned growers that abide by the same values of producing the best tasting and freshest fruit and veg, just as we do on our own farms. This is perfect for the consumer. Like the delicious strawberries from Queensland, plump blueberries from Tasmania and tasty table grapes from Victoria, fresh produce never stops growing, and neither does Perfection Fresh.
So much so, was the major turning point in Perfection Fresh’s business, with the construction of Two Wells, the largest glasshouse growing tomatoes and Qukes® in the Southern Hemisphere. This 43-hectare structure symbolises the dedication to sustainable farming practices, securing supply and fostering an environment where produce thrives. GM at Two Wells, Troy Topp says: “The reliability of quality means that a controlled growing environment is the most efficient in the industry.”
Our passionate people, experts in fresh produce
Perfection Fresh embraces a set of core values that define its identity. The employees are more than a workforce; they are part of something bigger and better. Their unwavering dedication and passion have nurtured a sense of belonging and longevity within Perfection Fresh. It’s proven in tenure time.
As the business grows, so do the people supporting the people in it. Numerous category managers have roots in farming, having been raised on farms or within farming families. This unique background situates Perfection Fresh employees as true experts between customers and growers. They can anticipate and understand the challenges growers face, allowing them the chance to forge meaningful connections. This underscores the crucial role of relationships in their approach.
“Acompany can grow but can't grow without its people's support.” Chris Bettiol - Senior Commercial Manager, Brassica, Leafy & Prop Veg.
Our sustainable future – looking towards a healthy life
The journey towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles has been integral to Perfection Fresh’s growth. Investing in sustainable practices, such as Red Tip® Ecoganic® bananas cultivated within an active ecosystem and utilising Controlled Environment Agriculture in the glasshouse and berry farms, exemplifies the commitment to minimising environmental impact while maximising quality produce. These efforts reflect the broader commitment to reducing the ecological footprint, fulfilling social responsibilities, and creating economic value. As such, with the changing horticultural industry, Perfection Fresh is responsible for upholding a strong ethos of ethical labour sourcing, human rights advocacy, fair working conditions, and environmental safeguarding.
Perfection Fresh keeps growing for the future
Perfection Fresh’s vision extends beyond the horizon, into a future where new varieties exist, and how people consume fresh produce evolves. We are proud that over 60,000 Australians visit the Perfection Fresh website each month when searching for delicious recipes, researching healthy eating or getting tips on fighting food waste and encouraging sustainability.
The journey so far, spanning 45 years, confirms the enduring passion of a shared dream, united by a love for fresh produce, and all communities that benefit. The essence of what Perfection Fresh does remains unchanged – our purpose is to make the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables a bigger and more loved part of everybody’s life.
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