As we continue to accelerate to 40 years in business our purpose of “Great Food with Obsessive Service” runs deep. That original passion and drive from our founders Bernie and Kaye from Hamilton, New Zealand has fuelled our growth to 1,500 people in 18 countries. An eye on the future and meeting the demands of the healthy food movement have meant our revenue has leapt from $50m to $300m in 10 years. As our international growth continues we’re continually mindful of our strong foundation in governance, values and community engagement.
A New Zealand SUCCESS STORY
Prolife Foods was founded by Bernie and Kaye Crosby in Hamilton in 1984. To begin with they operated out of their family home, using their Triumph 2000 car to service health shops in the Waikato with apricots and other dried goods. The big break came in the 1990s when Prolife started selling to New Zealand supermarkets and developed the high quality Bulk Foods [Self Selection] offer - Alison's Pantry - in partnership with New Zealand's favourite cook, Alison Holst. Prolife was very entrepreneurial and expanded into all sorts of product categories, but at its core its focus remained Great Food, provided with an obsessive level of service to its ever expanding customer base.
By 2008 Prolife was achieving $50m of sales in the New Zealand market. The next big step forward was the acquisition of the Mother Earth brand from Cadbury at the end of 2008 - which made Prolife a strong FMCG Grocery business as well as a Bulk Foods business. Mother Earth was used as a springboard to enter the Australian market in 2010 and it was followed up by the creation of the Scoop & Weigh Bulk Foods offer in partnership with Coles. Continued growth in New Zealand and fast expansion in Australia meant that Prolife hit $200m of sales in 2015.
The final pieces of the Prolife growth journey came together in 2015 with the acquisition of the Cambridge Bee Products' Beekeeping and Haddrells honey businesses, combined with a decision to accelerate the growth of International sales outside of Australasia. By the end of 2018 Prolife Foods is now a $300m business with a clear plan to grow strongly over the next five years.
Prolife is now a large organisation, with over 1500 employees based in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. To lead this organisation we have an experienced Executive team with functional, country and business stream leaders. Click here for Executive team. Prolife also has a strong governance process with Independent and Shareholder directors.
Our Company Purpose and Values
Prolife is all about Great Food - and any food we sell we want it to be the best possible in terms of taste, quality and value. It also defines what we don't do - we don't sell vaccuum cleaners or insurance. Obsessive Service comes from our Founders - Bernie Crosby would do anything and travel anywhere to meet the needs of his customers as he built the Bulk Foods business. Now as a much larger company we still strive to delight our customers all around the world and give them obsessive service. Our Purpose is underpinned by four Prolife Values. They communicate "the way we do things" which underpins the great culture we have at Prolife Foods. These values are visible and transparent throughout our organisation as follows:
Passion. We will be enthusiastic, inspired and have pride in our work.
Integrity. We will foster an environment of open and honest communication, and treat people with respect and dignity.
Accountability. We make a personal commitment to deliver on what we have agreed to.
Success. We will achieve both our individual and company goals.
Prolife Foods has a strong sense of community support and social responsibility and over the years has been proud to have supported many worthwhile causes and community activities. Some of this support is via visible Brand sponsorships such as the 10 year partnership between Mother Earth and the Enviroschools/Toimata Foundation, which has an aim of promoting environmental awareness amongst school children. We also have had partnerships with a number of sporting teams playing in Australasian competitions, with the aim of encouraging healthy exercise and healthy eating. But a lot of what we do is less visible and consists of financial and product donations in the communities in which our staff work and live. Finally our shareholders have had an active approach towards philanthropy, including setting up a Neurological Trust which has raised over $1m towards Parkinsons research over the past 5 years.