Food sorting manufacturer Tomra details strategy after Compac acquisition


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    Thomas Molnar, Global head of sales and marketing for TOMRA based detailed the company strategy after the announcement of the acquisition of Compac. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2017, subject to approval by the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

    Compac is a New Zealand-based provider of post-harvest solutions and services to the global fresh produce industry. The company designs, manufactures, sells and services packhouse automation systems that sort fresh produce based on weight, size, shape, colour, surface blemishes and internal quality. Established in 1984, today Compac employs approximately 700 people across locations in New Zealand, Australia, US, China, Latin America, South Africa, Spain and Italy. Compac has a leading position within the sorting of apples, kiwifruit, cherries, avocados and citrus. About 6000 Compac sorting lanes have been sold worldwide in over 40 markets.

    “Market forces have driven double digit growth at Compac over recent years, and we have rapidly become a global business from humble New Zealand roots. Joining forces with TOMRA will enable us to continue to meet the increasing demands for our products and services in a more scalable and operationally efficient manner,” says Compac CEO Mike Riley.

    “The food market is large and continuously growing with requirements around food safety and quality becoming increasingly more stringent. Food producers are also consolidating, becoming larger, more sophisticated and more global. As a leading technology supplier into this industry we see clear advantages in mirroring this trend. With the acquisition of Compac, we reinforce TOMRA’s leading position within the food segment and we will be the first player to present an offering to our customers for sorting fresh and processed foods with both lane and bulk sorters,” says Stefan Ranstrand, TOMRA’s President and CEO.

    Both companies are driven by engineering innovation. Compac was founded by Hamish Kennedy 30 years ago after completing a Masters degree in electrical engineering. He identified that the industry lacked a fruit sorting machine that combined mechanical, electrical and optical technologies, that would be faster and more accurate than conventional fruit grading machines available at the time. So he decided to build one. Hamish was the son of a kiwifruit orchardist and what he was about to build in the basement of his father’’s house would revolutionise accurate, high speed sorting machines for the fresh produce market –  turning a university project into a global business.

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