An award-winning Hawke's Bay industry automation specialist is set to significantly expand after a new partnership deal.
Following recent collaboration on several projects, CR Automation (CRA) has decided to sell a 50 per cent equity stake to Jenkins Group, a key industry player throughout Australasia's horticulture post-harvest industry.
With subsidiaries in New Zealand and Australia (Tauranga-based Jenkins Freshpac Systems Ltd and NSW-based J-Tech Systems PTY), Jenkins Group provides an extensive range of labelling, packaging and handling systems to the fruit and vegetable industry across both countries.
Hawke's Bay-based CR Automation has provided automation, robotic and post-harvest solutions to a broad range of industries including food and beverage, water and wastewater, materials handling, cool storage, meat and wool processing and general manufacturing for the last 18 years.
CRA Managing Director Peter Richards said the company has experienced exponential growth over the past three years and has been looking for an equity partner who could help sustain that growth.
"We wanted a partner founded on similar ideals that would add value and provide market access beyond our existing client base," Richards said.
"Jenkins Group is an innovative, family-owned company with 136 years of success behind them. They are very client-focused and trade with a high level of integrity which is an excellent fit for us."
Innovation is at the core of both companies with CRA winning the "Most Innovative Solution" award for ABB robotics at the 2019 ASIA Value Provider Conference in March.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Richards said Jenkins was very impressed by the company's engineering capacity and its diversity.
"They felt some of our engineering services and products would complement the sectors that are core to them including apples and kiwifruit, but were very interested in CR Automation's specialisation in water and wastewater, and machine and functional safety as they recognise the high demand for these services," he said.
"I'm excited to see our company's potential realised through this new equity partnership with Jenkins Group and we're looking forward to seeing what the future holds."
Managing Director of Jenkins Group Tony Sayle said the combination of skills, products and services that the two organisations can now provide across a wide industry segment is "formidable".
"The Internet of Things (IoT) and automation are clear requirements for our horticulture sector to excel and thrive in a global economy and soar through its ambitious target of being a $10 billion industry by 2020," Sayle said.
"This new partnership will provide industry-leading produce handling capability to a post-harvest industry screaming out for efficiencies and solutions to its labour supply woes and escalating compliance needs."
Have you got business news?
Let Blair Voorend know – email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you've won an award, or have a new service or product, tell us.
You might have people coming or going, or be demonstrating innovation and setting the benchmark in the region.
We want to highlight what's great about business in Hawke's Bay and share your successes with our readers.
Send us around 150 words and we'd love a photo.
And who knows, from little things, big things grow – your story might end up leading
our Tuesday Business section.
Email Blair Voorend at email@example.com