Leading New Zealand fresh vegetable grower LeaderBrand says it is thrilled to be cementing its roots in Pukekohe, South Auckland.
Following a 50% purchase of the business in 2013, the deal to secure the remaining shareholding will mean ‘business as usual’ for the 60 full time staff, with continued input from the Sutherland family who have been farming fresh vegetables since 1977, LeaderBrand says.
Currently, Sutherland Produce grows lettuce, broccoli and silver beet from its base at 188 Mill Road, Bombay.
LeaderBrand chief executive officer Richard Burke says the investment is a natural extension of the company’s strategic plans, and says the relationship with the Sutherland family is a vital integrated supply partnership.
“Our initial deal in 2013 was really a step for us into the Pukekohe area, and we’re thrilled to be permanently putting down roots with the completion of the purchase seven years later,” said Burke.
“The Sutherland family has a legacy of quality growing, excellent systems and a very well run business, so we’re looking forward to continuing our great relationship with John and the team.”
Sutherland Produce’s John Sutherland says the united approach and access to scale and resources is a highlight of the working relationship with LeaderBrand.
“We’re absolutely passionate about growing quality vegetables and always knew that the vision for the Sutherland family and McPhail family to join forces, harnessing our combined knowledge and common interest in growing quality produce, was a very strong proposition for the industry,” he said.
While Sutherland will be stepping back from an active role in the business, he along with his daughters and nephew will remain involved in the business.
Established by Murray McPhail in 1975 and based in Gisborne, LeaderBrand specialises in lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, sweetcorn and fresh salads.