George Weston Foods Limited
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History

For more than 50 years, George Weston Foods has been a proud part of the New Zealand and Australian marketplace.

Cart Our story began in the early 1950’s. George Weston Foods purchased Stormont’s Bakery in Kingsland Auckland, and launched the Tip Top Bread brand into New Zealand.

Within New Zealand, Tip Top is an icon. But, what many people may not realise is that Tip Top bread and Tip Top ice-cream are not made by the same company. The Tip Top Bread Company is owned by Allied Foods, who are a subsidiary of George Weston Foods in Australia. (GWF also market Tip Top Bread in Australia).

GWF then purchased Taylor’s Bakery in Northcote, and later Denhards in Wellington. In the mid-eighties, North’s Bakeries in Christchurch and Dunedin were also added to the group.

Sadly, in 1997 the Stormont’s Bakery burnt down but was soon replaced by a state-of-the art bakery in Otahuhu.

Northern Bakeries TruckToday, the business employs more than 500 people in five manufacturing sites. All together each site produces more than 1.2M loaves of bread, buns, rolls, muffins and crumpets per week. Our brands include Tip Top white bread, Burgen, Ploughmans, Big Ben, Golden, Bazaar and Spicy Fruit.

We are extremely proud of our heritage, and are very excited about our future within New Zealand.

GWF THROUGH THE YEARS


GWF has grown largely through acquisition. We first began conducting as a backward integrated baker, and in later years, a forward integrated miller.

1949

George Weston (Australia) Pty. Ltd formed.
Acquired Namoi Milling Co. Pty. Ltd.
Acquired Gattrell White Pty Ltd.
Acquired Golden Crust Bakery Pty. Ltd.

1950's

Through the 1950's a number of bakeries were acquired in different areas of Australia and New Zealand.

1951

Acquired Phoenix Biscuit Company.
Established Weston's Biscuits Camperdown.
Established Ryvita®.

1962

Once N B Love Starches was acquired, backward integrated into milling, starch and feeds (N.S.W).
GWF became a public company.
Mills acquired throughout Australia 1962/63.

1965

Backward integrated into chicken joint venture and purchased Watson Foods in W.A.
Bakery acquisitions continued, late 1960's acquired poultry operations in Australia.

1974

NB Love Starches in QLD.

1975

NB Love Food products, forerunner of Cereform was launched.

1977

Purchased land for a W.A piggery.

1979

Harper/Love Adhesives joint venture in U.S.A. Initial cost of investment $5k, current royalty: $2.9M p.a.

1980's

Period of upgrading bakeries. New bakery Springwood QLD, Canningvale WA bakery to replace four Perth bakeries, Newcastle bakery opened, major upgrade of Chatswood bakery, new crumb plant at Fairfield, new bakery at Dry Creek, Adelaide.

1981

Installed Ryvita® Crackerbread® line at Camperdown.
A 25% investment made in AB Ingredients, now ABI-Tech, an Australian initiative.

1982

Major upgrade of R&D activities.

1983

Entered a joint venture with Newly Wed Foods, establishing New Food Coatings.
Apollo Chemicals, Staybond, J.S. Adhesives acquired.

1984

Poultry disposed of to Fielder/Gillespie because of poor performance.

1987

Jasol acquired.

1989

Acquired Lake Albert piggery.
Established Thai Food Coatings in Thailand.

1990

Michel's French Bakery and 'Speedibake' acquired.

1990's

Mill upgrades commence.
Northam upgraded.
Cottesloe closed.

1991

New bakery at Bendigo and Dandenong redeveloped.
Milling entered retail packet flour plain, organic, self-raising flours.

1996

Adhesives sold.
Bunge Starch acquired.
Wesfeeds j.v. partner bought-out.
Big H Chemical Company acquired.
Melosi acquired.

1997-1999

Upgrade of Enfield (NSW), Victoria, S.A. Mills.
Acquired Don Smallgoods.
Creating sustainable high performance company.
Looking for new growth opportunities.
Mature markets focus on efficiencies and cost down.
Look for new segment opportunities, e.g. food service, export strategies.
Business incubator to enter new growth sectors.

2000

QLD mill upgrade.

2001

GWF sells Capel Dairy.

2002

BioProducts operation sold.
Australian Stock Exchange delisting.

2003

New Chief Executive for GWF.
GWF sells South Australian Piggeries.
GWF sells Wagon Wheel, Quatro and Chocolate Wheaton brands to Arnotts.

2004

GWF sells its remaining Biscuit brands with the exception of Ryvita® and Ryvita® Crackerbread® and closes its Camperdown (NSW) and Abbotsford (VIC) manufacturing sites.

2005

New Chief Executive for GWF.