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The Antico Story Part 3 "From providores to exporters'

Posted on 28 April 2016

As the airline industry powered into the Jet Age the company’s existing relationships were to be the backbone of Antico’s future business, planting the seed for the next phase from Providore to Exporter. Antico continued working with the major airlines to help move local products to newly established export markets, where previously sea freight had been the only option.

It was mostly apples, oranges and pears that could be sent by sea freight, however, Antico’s air freight access allowed the company to offer a huge increase in the choice of export products. This included stone fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and cherries as well as table grapes and vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce and cauliflower for the first time in Australian history.

Due to unparalleled demand, Antico wound down the Providoring part of the business and export became its new focus. With the successful Noumea experiences and growth of air cargo underway, it seemed only natural to look further afield to New Guinea, the Solomon and Pacific Islands.

With the commencement of new flight paths into Asia, again with the need to fill cargo requirements,  Antico began airfreighting fresh produce into Singapore and continued to expand into Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong – transporting  wherever Australian Quarantine allowed its products to go.

In 1975, the Sydney Fruit Market was moved out of the inner city and into Flemington.  Antico International Pty Ltd, as it was then known, moved into new state-of-the-art warehouse facilities.  At that time, it was one of the few export companies with its own air and sea loading facilities right in the heart of the produce market.

As the business grew, Antico secured a reputation for its procurement and the family began building direct relationships with growers to ensure an integral supply chain met the needs of their ever growing customer base.  Many of these relationships remain today.  Capable of turning around same day farm fresh deliveries onto air pallets and into sea containers, Antico secured its place as leaders in the industry.

By 1980, the Antico business had expanded exponentially and due to a back injury, Joe Antico, one of the original entrepreneurs of the trio, was unable to continue working.   Antico sold a quarter of the business to nephews Joe and Sam who had grown up in their father Vince’s well known retail fruit shop in Sydney’s Rose Bay and had also inherited the passion for the finest quality fresh produce.

The brothers helped Tony and John to grow the business further and it was during this period that Antico became known as the largest exporter of air freight fresh fruit and vegetables on the east coast of Australia.  In 1990, Joe and Sam returned to their retail roots and purchased a fruit shop in Northbridge, which remains there today although is now under new ownership.

Antico International continued on, trading into Europe, air lifting fresh produce to France, Holland, Amsterdam, and London as well as continuing to air freight hundreds of tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, The Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar) up until the Desert Storm War of the 1990s.

to be continued...


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