The roots of the Robson family connection with Australian produce extend as far back as the early 1930s, when Duncan Robson began trading fruit and vegetables at the Ipswich Markets in Queensland. Since then, the One Harvest family has grown to include four facilities, one farm and more than 1,000 people across Australia that grow, harvest, process and supply our value-add produce to supermarkets and green grocers around the country. Our product repertoire includes prepacked salads and vegetables, prepared deli salads and fresh-cooked beetroot and potatoes, but is constantly growing and evolving along with our business.
Duncan Robson began trading produce at the Ipswich Markets in Queensland. He continued to trade fresh produce until he was 76.
Duncan’s sons, Rob and Ian, combined forces to establish Interharvest – a new wholesale business operating out of the Brisbane Markets. Throughout a twenty-year business partnership, Rob and Ian were instrumental in driving change and innovation in the Australian horticultural industry. They 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.
Rob’s international travels introduced him to the world of freshcut salads and vegetables. In conjunction with the changing produce supply chains – from centrally-based market systems to directly supplying customers from the source – this was the opportunity to revolutionise the fresh produce departments of Australian supermarkets by introducing value-added freshcut salads and vegetables.
Rob independently pursued the opportunity to start Australia’s first salad manufacturing business, Harvest Fresh Cuts, with a purpose-built factory based at Wacol in Brisbane.
One Harvest purchased Vegco factory in Bairnsdale, Victoria.
A state-of-the-art purpose built Harvest Fresh Cuts factory was opened in Bibra Lakes, Perth to meet the need for freshness and shelf life in the WA market.
A major extension to the Wacol factory was undertaken, incorporating a larger Receivals area, a dedicated Despatch area and an additional trim and bagging line.
A fresh-cooked beetroot processing facility was installed at the Vegco site in Bairnsdale.
Commenced Harvest Farms baby leaf farming operation in Richmond, Tasmania.
Aussie Grown LoveBeets was launched.
One Harvest’s newest factory was opened in Smeaton Grange, Sydney.
Innovative new product, Love Potatoes, was launched. The flavoured and cooked retort potatoes are the first of their kind to be produced in Australia.
One Harvest is a founding and very active member of the Produce Marketing Association ANZ (PMA-ANZ), the stand-alone global affiliate of the US-based Produce Marketing Association, the leading global trade association for the produce industry. One Harvest’s Katie de Villiers is a director of PMA-ANZ while other One Harvest team members are actively involved in various taskforces to advance the association’s agenda.
One Harvest is an AUSVEG levy paying member contributing to Research & Development in the Australian vegetable and potato industry.
One Harvest is a member of the Australian Food & Grocery Council – the leading national organisation representing Australia’s packaged food, drink and grocery products manufacturers.
Demonstrating our commitment to the East Gippsland region, where Vegco is based, we are a proud member of the East Gippsland Food Cluster.
One Harvest is proud to be partnered with Foodbank Australia Ltd and has donated more than 50,000 meals for Australians in need.
The team at Harvest Farms use reduced tillage, controlled traffic and cover cropping to help maintain and build soil organic matter. The team are also examining soil amendment practices which are expected to have a positive effect on overall soil and crop health.
Harvest Farms have adopted an irrigation management system to sustainably control water and nutrient application to crops, utilising data from a variety of factors including forecast weather, irrigation volumes, satellite imagery, nutrient levels in water and soil moisture readings.
Harvest Farms are committed to ensuring the continuity of the Conservation Covenant on our Glen Ayr property. Glen Ayr has some of the best plant species diversity in the district and the team are committed to working with local organisation, Tasmanian Land Conservancy, to protect and preserve the property to support conservation.
Meters, software and technology have been installed to measure and reduce usage of water and electricity. Procedures have been put in place to ensure lights and machinery are turned off when not in use to minimize unnecessary electricity usage.
The packaging of our fresh food products serves a number of purposes including reducing damage or spoilage, reducing food waste, extending produce shelf life and providing a fresh and safe eating experience for consumers. At One Harvest we also recognise the need to reduce plastic consumption, and to provide more environmentally-friendly packaging alternatives. One Harvest is a member of the Australian Fresh Produce Alliance, who are actively researching packaging alternatives and better packaging practices. One Harvest is also a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation who are committed to achieving 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging in Australia by 2025.
Our logistics team have been collaborating with our suppliers on Reusable Plastic Crates programs, reducing packaging waste within the supply chain. We’re also engaging with our transport suppliers to incorporate low emissions technology in transport vehicles and to improve transport refrigeration to reduce emissions and environmental impact.
Food waste is separated from landfill and is provided to local farmers to feed livestock.