JAZZ™ Apples - Now in season

Our History

Founded in 1948, a young William (Bill) Montague OAM purchased a carting operation that turned the Montague name into a fresh food provider and we have never looked back.

Humble Beginnings

Starting from the humble beginnings as an Australian apple grower harvesting fresh apples in a family orchard, we have spent 70 years growing a tight-knit community of hard-working individuals to expand from fruit production to cold storage facilitation and logistics.

Family, Food & Innovation

From searching the corners of the world to source the best quality produce to grow in our own backyard, to connecting with the latest technology such as, introducing the first Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage into Australia in 1967, we will always be driven by family, food, innovation, loyalty and service.

Timeline of Growth

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1948

Bill Montague purchases carting operation and wins contract to supply vegetables to Melbourne hospitals.

1950

Bill plants his first orchard at Narre Warren North, Victoria

1958

The company is incorporated and the first Cold Storage facility is built at Narre Warren North, Victoria

1964

Montague Supported the World Scout Jamboree

1965

Frank Montague, Bill’s eldest son, joins the business

1966

Our relationship with Australian Safeway begins

1967

Bill Montague introduces Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage to Australia

1968

Greg Montague, Bill’s second son, joins the business

1970

Ray Montague, Bill’s third son, joins the business

1977

Natural waxing on apples is introduced

Frank, Greg and Ray are appointed Directors of Montague.

1983

Montague purchased 210 acres in Legana, Tasmania, to plant their first interstate orchard.

1984

Wholesale stand at Flemington Market, New South Wales is purchased

1987

New packing shed opened at Narre Warren North Site

1988

Labelling on apples (apple stickers) is introduced to Australia by Bill Montague

1989

Purchase of Land to Build Allansford Cold Storage facility

Purchase Batlow Orchard, New South Wales

1993

Frank Montague passes away from a cancerous brain tumour

Hamish Montague, Frank’s son, joins the business

1996

The next (third) generation of Montagues join the business- Hamish, Scott & Tim.

1994

Harcourt Orchard in Victoria is purchased

1995

A.J Carters Pty Ltd wholesale market stand purchased in Queensland which became the catalyst for National Supply to Woolworths.

Intensive planting system established at Orchards, 250 trees per acre increases to 1,000 trees per acre.

1997

Montague Cold Storage purpose build Cold Storage facility in Devonport, Tasmania

Montague awarded Safeway Supplier of the Year – Best Fruit & Veg

Montague Bros purchased Coldstorage facility Meaden St South Melbourne (Nov 98)

1999

Bill Montague recognised by Australia Fresh Fruit Company as a legend of the industry (AFFCO).

2002

Montague Cold Storage purchase Cold Storage site in Tullamarine, Victoria

Montague Cold Storage lease facility at West Melbourne, Victoria

2003

Jarryd Montague, Ray’s youngest son, joins the business

Ray Montague appointed to APAL Board (Serving 2003/2004)

Bilmont Orchard in Swan Hill, Victoria is purchased

Exclusive JazzTM Licence agreement signed with Enza (28/4/18)

Marketing Licence signed with Sunworld International (23/5/2003)

Hamish Montague appointed Director AFCSAV (Orchardists and Fruit Coolstores Association of Victoria( (2003 – 2005)

2004

Andrew Montague, Greg’s son, joins the business

Hamish Montague appointed Director.

Hamish Montague appointed director of Australian Fresh Fruit Company (AFFCO) (2004 – 2006)

2005

Stonefruit Grader installed at Narre Warren North site.

2006

Bill Montague receives an OAM (Order of Australia Medal) for services to the Australian Fruit Industry

The first JazzTM plantings commence at Batlow Orchard, New South Wales

Michael Napthali (Chair) and Erik Sholtz appointed as independent board directors

2007

Sydney Warehouse purchased in Strathfield South, New South Wales

Montague awarded Woolworth’s Supplier – Produce Category Winner

Signed Exclusive Agreement with Heartland for eve® (8/1/2007)

2008

Greg Montague is tragically killed in a car accident

Exclusive Bradford Licence Agreement signed for US Stonefruit varieties (3/12/08)

Exclusive Licence agreement with TEAK for Donut™ Peach Brand

Ray Montague is appointed Managing Director of the Montague Group

2009

Montague awarded Woolworth’s Supplier of the Year – Produce Category Winner

Signed Exclusive Agreement with PSB

‘Target Zero’ rollout of company OH&S Program across the business

2010

Crystal Montague, Greg’s daughter, joins the business

Montague sign agreement with Heartland for apple variety, EveTM

2011

Montague finalists for Worksafe Awards in Health and Wellbeing category

Montague refresh their company identity

Scott Montague appointed as a director on APAL Board

Hamish Montague appointed director Brismark

2012

Launch EveTM nationally in Coles Supermarkets

Montague appointed sole Australian representative for IFORED, an international consortium for exclusive red fleshed apple breeds.

Montague awarded exclusive marketing rights to new variety Smitten™ in Australia

Montague partnership with Secondbite began in July 2012 with first fruit donation

2013

Jarryd William Montague sadly passed 29th September

Montague Fresh awarded Woolworths Fresh Supplier of the Year and Overall Supplier of the Year & Produce Category Winner in the same year

Montague awarded exclusive marketing rights to new variety Ambrosia™ in Australia (5/06/20013)

Hamish Montague appointed director Fresh Markets Australia (FMA)

2014

Montague Fresh becomes a Grocery Vendor for Woolworths with the introduction of its Sparkling Apple Juice

November 2014 marks the official Opening of our World Class Truganina Cold Facility

 

2015

Montague expand its Narre Warren North orchard by acquiring 18 Horswood Rd for new packing facility and community engagement facility.

April 2015 – Montague Cold Storage ranks in the top 25 largest Third Party Refrigerated Warehouse Providers in the world.  – source IARW

December 2015 – Montague are awarded Woolworths  Supplier of the Year – Fruit

2016

May 2016 – Montague develops  Montague Cider House brand made from 100% Australian grown JAZZ™Apples and is awarded a Liquor Vendor number by Coles Liquor.

Montague celebrates the 10 year anniversary of its Jazz™ Apples in Australia.

Montague received the 2016 Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) Innovative Marketing Award in recognition of Montague’s JAZZ™ Apples campaign

Ray Montague appointed Chair of the International Pome Fruit Alliance (IPA)

Signed Exclusive agreement for Sweet Sensation Pear

2017

2017 Montague Fresh plant its first Kissabel® Red Flesh Apple trees in Australia

1st of September 2017 – Montague and long term partner T&G Global agree to partnership of our Montague Premium Stonefruit brands ‘CROC EGGS’ and ‘the MONTAGUE tree’ in export markets.

Kissabel® Apples – A unique and amazing range of red flesh apple varieties are launched in Europe with Montague collaboration and support.

 

2018

June 2018

Montague Celebrated 70 years in business (Since 1948)

Stella Montague passed away peacefully, Tuesday the 8th of May Stella, a loving Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother. Fondly remembered and respected by all.

Ray Montague awarded a lifetime achievement award for dedication to the Apple and Pear industry by APAL

Montague Awarded Export of the Year by APAL

Signed Exclusive Agreement for Sweetango™

2019

September 2019

Montague broke ground on the new packaging, export distribution centre and a community engagement centre in Narre Warren North.

September 2019

Montague Queensland opens its new world-class fresh produce facility within the Brisbane Markets.

2020

Scott appointed Managing Director of Montague

2019/2020 Bushfires

COVID-19 Pandemic

2021

Opening of new packhouse facility and engagement centre at Narre Warren North.

Crystal and Andrew exit the business

“The values of hard work and perseverance that I instilled in my sons has been passed on to the next generation and filtered through our diverse workforce and I couldn’t be more proud of where we are today”

— William (Bill) Montague OAM

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