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Small auction becomes global player

In 2011, the already huge German company BayWa took over Turners & Growers from New Zealand. Turners & Growers, also known as T&G since September 2014, in turn has subsidiary companies as well, and with a revenue of 727 million New Zealand dollars (420.1 million Euro) over 2014, T&G is a giant in the sector. But how big is the company really?

Turners & Growers dates back to 1897. The company started out as a small auction in Auckland, New Zealand. Fourteen years earlier, Edward Turner arrived in New Zealand, and this ‘founding father’ opened a vegetable and flower shop in Auckland. In 1890, he bought a plot of land to grow his own vegetables. Another seven years later, Edward Turner and two companions got into a small import company and auction: the basis of T&G. The company flourished, and in 1921 the Turner family decides to give the 207 suppliers a share in the company. The name is changed to Turners & Growers.

Growth, IPO and takeover
In 1939, Turner & Growers looks across the border, opening an office in Australia. The company’s growth continues. In the 1950s, import activities are started, and toward the end of that decade, the company has offices across New Zealand. In the early 1990s, the company is split into three divisions: import, export, and domestic produce. Ten years later, in 2003, Turners & Growers enters into a partnership with ENZA to market the Jazz apple. A year later, a successful IPO follows. After that, things move along rapidly, and it takes over various successful companies, which means Turners & Growers becomes an increasingly big player, for instance in apples and kiwis. In 2012, the partial takeover by German BayWa follows. The German giant takes over 72.5 percent of the shares, becoming the de facto owner of the New Zealand company. Now, the German owner has 73.1 percent of the shares.

Takeovers and China office
In 2013, T&G acquired all the shares of exporter Delica Global. In 2007, T&G already acquired a majority stake in the company. Last year, the T&G network expanded further with the opening of a sales office in Shanghai, to get closer to the Chinese market. In September, a joint venture with Chilean grape grower Unifrutti followed. In the last month of 2014, the announcement followed that New Zealand’s two biggest tomato growers, Rianto and Great Lake Tomatoes, will come under T&G’s wings. Apollo Apples was also taken over.

Today, the company markets 140 products in over seventy countries, and the company comprises five pillars: Top Fruit, International, New Zealand, Processed Fruit and Veg, and Other Activities.

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