Packing Station is pleased to announce we are now a Class 2.4 Approved Arrangement site.
Valleyfresh and Etherington entered into a joint venture in 2014, establishing Packing Station in WA to drive prepacking innovation for wholesale and retail in an under-serviced market. Valleyfresh provided their experience and know how in setting-up an efficient pack house, and Etherington brought their network of local contacts and management experience.
With the business going from strength to strength, the decision has been made to shift ownership of Packing Station entirely to Etherington. Valleyfresh will continue to service the retail sector via Packing Station but will no longer be involved in the packing facility's day-to-day operations.
"The journey we have been on with Etherington has been a hugely positive one, and it is great that we can achieve a mutually beneficial approach to the next phase of its growth," says Simon Powell - GM Valleyfresh Australia.
"The team at Valleyfresh have been a great help in setting up this facility, and it is a great outcome that Etherington can now take on the ownership and operational responsibility by ourselves," says Grant Etherington "Our relationship with Valleyfresh is as strong as ever, and we look forward to working closely with the Valleyfresh team for many years to come."
VALLEYFRESH AND ETHERINGTON LAUNCH PRE-PACK JOINT VENTURE
Valleyfresh chairman Garth Lockyer and Grant Etherington of third-generation family-owned wholesaler Etherington have launched a joint venture in Western Australia.
After more than 15 years of working together, Valleyfresh and Etherington are launching a new joint venture in Perth. Appropriately named Packing Station, the facility will offer pre-packing, storage and distribution services to third parties when it opens its doors at E7 (Market City Perth) on May 1 2015.
“For a long time now there has been need for a better pre-pack option on Australia’s West Coast” says Valleyfresh chairman Garth 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.” Lockyer states that whilst the two companies have been “mulling over the project” for the last 12 months, machinery is now on its way from Italy to the custom-built 900m2 facility.
“There are many great opportunities for pre-packing in Western Australia, and we have a significant supplier base already interested in using this new service. The new facility we are launching will also offer a great opportunity for our eastern seaboard customers to have the confidence to go west,” says Valleyfresh Account Manager Simon Powell. “Taking three days to transport fresh produce pre-packed in Sydney or Melbourne has never been very viable” said Powell.
To facilitate a smooth and efficient launch, Valleyfresh will send experienced personnel to Perth to govern the roll out and the initial training of staff, whilst Etherington will introduce more people as the facility’s capacity grows. Both companies have emphasized that Packing Station will always remain independent, with both set to use the facility as paying customers. “I think the third party service is a massive selling point, and one that applies to us as much as anyone else. We expect to grow the business to the point where the machines are running year round,” says Grant Etherington. “It will be an independent packer and service provider for national suppliers to assist them in servicing Western Australian supermarkets. And that’s something that doesn’t currently exist.”
Whilst the premises will initially focus on citrus pre-packing, 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.
In realistic terms, the current objective is simply to get Packing Station “open for business” and start delivering a service previously unavailable in Perth. Both Valleyfresh and Etherington know that if the facility can deliver to a high level of customer satisfaction, then many new opportunities will arise, “We feel that with our combined commercial abilities this project will mesh well, and the timing for its launch is spot on.” states Garth 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.
For more information please contact
Garth Lockyer - 0411 551 224
Grant Etherington - 0418 952 139