NZ tech company announces global plans

Wednesday, 12 June, 2019

NZ tech company announces global plans

New Zealand fresh produce software company Radfords is extending its global reach with the help of international business development agency New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

Radfords was announced as an NZTE focus customer in April, which Chief Executive Officer Adam Cuming said will help accelerate the company’s growth to existing and expanding markets during the next five years, including Australia, Europe, the United States and South America.

Cuming suggested the company will address the increasing global demand for fresh, healthy and traceable food. He said: “Ten or 15 years ago, global consumer focus was on packaged consumer goods. Today’s focus is on freshness and how well fresh produce satisfies quality standards.”

The company has worked with NZTE for several years in a networking capacity, but the new collaboration will provide specific market intelligence of its target markets, Cuming explained.

“We need deeper insights into various global markets, fresh produce sectors and client personas to identify opportunities, build strong relationships and tailor innovation in our products.

“We need to understand the culture of the people we’re partnering with and the nuances of how they operate to help them optimise their business which, in turn, drives our mission to grow the world's food basket. Understanding different market contexts will inform how we innovate our product to create the right value for that market. A relationship with NZTE is critical to accelerate that understanding.”

Radfords already had a footprint in Australia and had identified a technology gap in the central markets’ space where most wholesalers continued to manually record data, he said.

Australian fresh produce clients include Piñata Farms and Kirra Pines Farming in Queensland; Red Rich Fruits and Seeka Australia in Victoria; and Fruit Hub and Packing Station of Western Australia.

“A key difference in doing business with Australia is that the domestic consumer market is far bigger than New Zealand’s, which, in contrast, has a more finely developed export background.

“Approximately 1500 Australian fresh produce wholesalers exist, many of which are vertically integrated. This aligns with Radfords’ extensive knowledge and suite of products that provide full traceability along the supply chain.

“By reviewing year-on-year macro data for fresh produce, you can also see an increasing proportion of total sales moving to export markets where margins are higher for quality produce. This also plays well with our capabilities in matching inventory to various export compliance requirements,” Cuming said.

Radfords' Chief Executive Officer, Adam Cuming. Credit: Radfords.

Radfords also planned to work closely with NZTE’s Beachhead advisors — a network of private sector experts who offered perspective and insights to help customers shape the direction of their growth strategies.

“In coming months, we’ll talk to NZTE reps in Europe and South America to unpick fresh produce opportunities for Radfords there,” he said.

According to Cuming, Radfords had “cut its teeth” on New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry including deployment of its software products to all of the post-harvest sector that supplies Zespri’s supply chain out of New Zealand, Italy, France, Korea and Japan. The company’s diversification began 12 years ago with a foray into apples, glasshouse tomatoes, avocados, mushrooms, citrus and, more recently, mangoes, pineapples, onions, squash and organic chicken.

Image credit: © Vladimirov

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