Perfection Fresh goes bananas for bananas

Australia’s leading national fresh-food provider has acquired banana business Pacific Coast Produce Marketing. The acquisition gives Perfection Fresh the opportunity to license the sustainably grown, reef-friendly Red Tip™ Ecoganic™ banana.

It follows Perfection’s recent purchase of the licensing rights to two other new banana varieties – Little Gem™ and Havana™.

CEO Michael Simonetta said the new banana variety is ‘an excellent fit’ that aligns with the company’s focus on driving innovation in fresh produce.

“We decided to enter the banana category because we have the opportunity to grow the category as a whole by offering unique product offerings to different consumers,” Simonetta says.

“Bananas are a versatile fruit packed with health benefits.

“The banana category has lacked innovation in Australia, and we plan to change that by bringing choice for consumers in terms of size, taste, sustainability and other attributes,” Mr Simonetta said.

“We see this as a huge opportunity to grow the category and restore value to bananas. Perfection Fresh is continuing to do what it does best – identifying unique varieties and offering product experiences that reflect consumer trends. In essence, bringing more choice and premium produce to consumers.”

“This acquisition is very much in line with our sustainability approach and gives us the opportunity to extend Ecoganic™ farming to other crops in our portfolio.”

Ecoganic™: Building a better banana

Established in 1998 by Frank and Dianne Sciacca, the goal of Ecoganic™ farming was to minimise the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef and of soil health that results from conventional growing practices in Far North Queensland. The Sciaccas were also keen to produce a sustainably grown banana that would be good for the environment and consumers.

The Sciaccas’ Ecoganic™ farming system grows banana slowly and sustainably, minus harmful chemicals; the resulting Ecoganic™ bananas, distinguished by their signature red-wax tip, are available Australia-wide.

“We are thrilled to be able to continue to grow [Ecoganic™ bananas] with Perfection Fresh. This will take our patented farming method to new heights and we are excited about the benefits for both consumers and the environment,” Frank Sciacca, Managing Director Pacific Coast Produce Marketing, said.

Cavendish bananas ripening. “The banana category has lacked innovation in Australia, and we plan to change that by bringing choice for consumers in terms of size, taste, sustainability and other attributes,” says Perfection Fresh’s Michael Simonetta. Credit: Shutterstock

Acquiring banana expertise

As part of the PCMP acquisition, Perfection Fresh has welcomed banana industry stalwarts Chaise Pensini, as Category Manager, and David Vella as Category Supply Manager.

“I’m looking forward to working with Perfection Fresh and other key stakeholders to grow the banana category in this country and abroad,” Pensini said.

David Vella, who brings nearly three decades of experience in fresh produce retail buying, procurement, supply and operational management to the group, is keen to help Perfection Fresh grow the category..

“We have the opportunity to reinvigorate the bananas segment with new varieties and innovation, and I’m excited to help develop ways to support growth into the future,” Vella said. 

Source: New Banana acquisition set to bring excitement to the category I Perfection Fresh Media Release, 10 May

Lead image: Red Tip Ecoganic™ bananas. Credit: Pacific Coast Produce Marketing, Courtesy of Perfection Fresh