You may be aware that a fire broke out in the banana rooms of our Auckland branch shortly before 9.00am on Monday 20 September 2021.
People were alerted by the fire alarm. The alarm also automatically notified the Fire and Emergency service. It’s pleasing to report that our teams and visitors responded quickly and exited the site safely.
The fire was in an isolated area at the end of the warehouse which is separated by a fire-wall. The fire has not had any impact on the main market floor.
Market floor operational within 24 hours
We are grateful for the work of the Fire and Emergency service who contained the fire and monitored the building overnight. They declared the branch safe to reopen at approximately 8.00am on Tuesday 21 September 2021.
The fire caused short-term disruption, but we were back operational within 24 hours, demonstrating the resilience of and effort of our Auckland team.
The market floor is now functioning as it was before the fire and we have experienced steady trading since reopening. We would like to thank our loyal customers and growers for their patience and for continuing to support our Auckland branch.
While our main market floor was unaffected, the fire has resulted in our Auckland branch losing around 10% of building capacity, impacting our ability to store and ripen bananas on-site.
As New Zealand's most significant supplier of bananas, we have contingency plans to minimise disruption and maintain continuity of supply for our customers.
We already have arrangements in place to leverage additional capacity within our existing branch network, while at the same time taking immediate steps to partner with other ripening facilities to further supplement the lost capacity.
Construction started on our new stand-alone Auckland ripening facility at the start of this year and is expected to be operational in the coming months.
We want to assure our customers in the upper North Island that we have the supply and the network of facilities to manage this short-term disruption.
I’d like to acknowledge our team in Auckland who have worked tirelessly to make sure we’re able to assist growers and customers to get fresh produce to New Zealanders.
We are also grateful to the Fire and Emergency service for their significant efforts and thank the contractors who were quickly on-site to ensure our building was safe.
Lastly, thank you to our growers and customers for your ongoing support.