Our History

hawker style trading

OneHarvest can trace its beginnings to the traditional ‘hawker style’ trading of fruit and vegetables that was conducted by Duncan Robson from the Ipswich District Markets in Queensland in the early 1930s.

Following in their father’s footsteps, Duncan’s two sons Rob and Ian Robson combined forces in the early 1970s to establish a new wholesale business called Interharvest, operating out of the Brisbane Markets. Meanwhile Duncan continued fresh produce trading from his established Ipswich District Markets until he was 76.

Throughout a twenty year business partnership, Rob and Ian were instrumental in driving change and innovation in the Australian horticultural industry and were responsible for several industry firsts, such as the introduction of field representatives at grower level, the installation of vacuum coolers in Australia’s primary growing areas and the creation of the first in-house marketing and promotions department. These initiatives became the hallmarks of the business for the future.

centrally based market

In the late 80s and early 90s, the traditional produce supply chains in the U.S. and Europe started changing from a centrally based market system to directly supplying customers from the source. It was only a matter of time before the Australian produce industry would follow suit. At the same time, Rob’s travels introduced him to the world of freshcut salads and vegetables. Minimally processed vegetables were fast becoming a significant proportion of produce department sales in overseas markets. This was the opportunity to revolutionise the fresh produce departments of supermarkets throughout Australia by introducing value-added freshcut salads and vegetables.

In September 1995, Rob pursued this opportunity independently to start Australia’s first salad manufacturing business, with a purpose-built factory based at Wacol in Brisbane. The group has since added three more facilities in Bairnsdale, Victoria, Perth, Western Australia and Sydney, New South Wales.

Today, the organisation is a 100% Australian-owned, third generation family business with operations in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.

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