Countdown’s dedication to providing farm-to-fork freshness will know no bounds with the supermarket announcing today that its new $150 million Auckland Fresh Produce Distribution Center (AFDC) is now officially open for business.
The new facility has created 260 jobs
The 20,000m² Auckland facility, which has created 260 jobs, features state-of-the-art green design and technology to ensure fresh produce is kept at optimum temperatures throughout the supply chain and will serve North Island Countdown stores.
The opening follows Countdown’s recent announcement of plans for a new $99 million fresh produce distribution center in Rolleston, Canterbury.
Countdown Property Manager Matthew Grainger said that with the opening of the new AFDC and the planned opening of the Christchurch Fresh Produce Distribution Center (CFDC) in 2024, customers across Aotearoa will be able to shop. first-hand experience of Countdown’s dedication to freshness.
“Our local producers put tremendous care and effort into the products they supply to us and we have a responsibility to show that same level of effort and care as they travel from the farms to the baskets and carts of our clients.
“Innovation in cold chain integrity is built into the new AFDC and every element of the purpose-built facility has been designed to showcase the quality of locally grown produce – refrigerated trucks that transport produce from the farm has various temperature-controlled areas or ripening chambers that ensure that the products are in perfect condition when they arrive in our stores.
Completion of the new facility also means that Countdown can now co-pack a single truck with meat and produce to get to stores, rather than sending a separate truck for each, ensuring greater efficiency and less carbon emissions.
“The distribution center is located next door and is linked by skybridge to the Hilton Meat factory, which supplies Countdown’s North Island stores. This means we can more efficiently pack each delivery truck with meat and produce, saving receiving stores time and reducing truck trips,” says Matthew.
Auckland Fresh’s fulfillment center has also been designed to a four-star green standard, meaning it meets rigorous international sustainability standards in design, construction and operation – which is not a small feat for a building that needs to be cooled by up to two degrees in some areas.
“We believe it is a privilege to be in the food business in Aotearoa and being kind to the planet is an essential part of ensuring we can provide fresh food to Kiwis for years to come,” says Matthew.
“We have invested heavily in future-oriented design and implemented features such as rainwater harvesting, electric forklifts, solar panels and energy and water efficient condensers to help us meet our 2025 sustainability commitments. Auckland Fresh’s solar power generation alone will offset approximately 183 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Countdown’s sustainability commitments include zero food waste to store landfills by 2025; a minimum rating of 5 green stars on all new buildings by 2025; and a 63% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2015.
Auckland Fresh’s distribution center began full operation on June 29, 2022 with a dedicated team of over 260 pickers, packers, operators and support staff. It will service all Countdown North Island stores by September 2022.
About the countdown
Countdown is one of New Zealand’s largest employers with 22,000 staff across 190 supermarkets, distribution centres, processing plants and support offices. Countdown serves approximately 3 million customers each week and works with hundreds of food producers and suppliers across New Zealand. The company’s sustainable development plan
Kia pai ake te apōpō – A brighter future
outlines over 40 commitments that Countdown is committed to achieving by 2025. Countdown is also committed to being part of the communities where we live and work: some of our activities include Countdown Food Rescue which donates over 5 $.2 million worth of food each year to The Salvation Army and other food rescue groups and food banks. Through the
Food for Good Foundation Countdown we also provide local funding and sponsorship to help Kiwis thrive by building a stronger, healthier New Zealand for the future.
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