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When your company is the fastest growing branded supplier in the Australian grocery market, capital expenditure is somewhat unavoidable. Freedom Foods Group is a company on a mission. Kim Berry reports.

Freedom Foods Group is on a mission. Continual growth, product innovation and building highly trusted brands are the foundations of its extraordinary performance.

In FY19 Freedom Foods revenue increased by 48.5 per cent – or $230.9 million of total sales – which was off the back of 45 per cent growth in FY18.

Its brands include Australia’s Own, MilkLab, Arnold’s Farm, Heritage Mill, Messy Monkeys and Vital Strength.

In the last three years the company has invested $430 million in capital expenditure.

And yet the FY19 earnings results did not fully benefit from the key capital expenditure initiative which began in March 2018, including new nutritionals capabilities and a 500 million litre capacity expansion (from 250 million litres) at its Shepparton plant.

Group head safety and compliance Rob McDonald told Food & Drink Business: “We are a disrupter in the food industry and the supply chain. We are a quiet achiever, having come from very little over the last ten years”.

McDonald says it stems in part from CEO Rory Macleod’s pragmatic approach that “if you build the facilities and put in the infrastructure, then your capacity increases and your sales can go up”.

McDonald says: “I’ve been with the business for two-and-
a-half years and in my current role I’ve been across all of the building projects. This build [Ingleburn in Sydney’s west], the Shepparton build, the nutritional build, and our head office rebuild at Taren Point.”

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