Farm-to-fork freshness will know no bounds with the opening of Countdown's new $150 million Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre (AFDC).
The state-of-the-art facility lies on 20,000 square metres and has created 260 jobs. It will service Countdown stores across the entire North Island.
“Our local growers put such an immense amount of care and effort into the produce they supply us with and we have a responsibility to show that same level of effort and care as it travels from farms and into our customer’s baskets and trolleys." Said Matthew Grainger, Countdown’s Director of Property.
“Innovation in cool chain integrity is embedded into the new AFDC and every element of the purpose-built facility has been designed to put the quality of locally-grown produce on display - from the refrigerated trucks that transport the produce from the farm through to the varied temperature-controlled zones or ripening rooms that ensure produce is in peak condition when it reaches our stores.”
Technology at the facility will ensure that the product is kept at optimal temperatures throughout the supply chain. It is connected via an air bridge to the Hilton Meat Plant next door to ensure efficient truck packing. This also means Countdown can pack a single truck with meat and produce rather than having two separate vehicles.
The centre has been designed to a four Green Star standard with future-forward features such as rainwater harvesting, electric forklifts, solar panels, and low energy and water use condensers. The solar panels alone will offset around 183 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year.
“We believe it’s a privilege to be in the business of food in Aotearoa and being kind to the planet is a huge part of making sure we can provide fresh food to Kiwis for years to come.”
The centre opening is a step toward Countdown's sustainability commitments: zero food waste to landfills from stores by 2025, a minimum 5 Green Star rating on all new buildings by 2025 and a 63% reduction in emissions by 2030 from the 2015 baseline.
The Auckland Fresh Distribution Centre began operations on 29 June and will fully service North Island stores by September 2022. This opening follows the announcement of the $99 million Christchurch Fresh Distribution Centre in Rolleston.