Warren Pratley entered the workforce through his family’s business Pratley Spicer Pty Ltd. on Sussex St in the City of Sydney. The business sourced produce from Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. In those days they could be found selling potatoes off the wharf at Darling Harbour. It was then a working harbour.
Warren found himself becoming more interested in the fruit and vegetable industry and was employed by Mr Bill Moltzen (A.G.S.A) in the Sydney Markets. Bill was in his senior years but most of the business principles he learned from Bill still apply to this day.
Warren was then offered a partnership to manage Country Fruit Distributors (Sydney). by the Joseph family. This proved to be successful and when the time came to move to the new markets at the Flemington in 1975, Warren was able to buy out the partnership. He made a small change to the name and commenced trading as Country Fruit Traders at Flemington.
CFT decided to specialise in tomatoes about 20 years ago. Prior to this, they had been carrying most lines of fruit. Warren felt specialising would give the business a focus and edge for future trading and they haven’t looked back. Country Fruit Traders now boasts some of the best growers in Australia. Growers from all the major growing areas across the land. It allows Country Fruit Traders to supply their customers with the highest quality products 52 weeks a year!
Warren’s Son Greg Joins the Business:
Greg finished school at end of 1991 and came straight to work for his dad, Warren, at Country Fruit Traders. Greg loved the job because of the hours. It was an early start and early finish so Greg could go play golf every afternoon. Greg was taught the business from his Dad. He explains he also learned a lot observing other people in our industry. These days Greg still prides himself on continuing to learn and always striving to do better.
Greg has served on the NSW Chamber Board for over ten years and he is passionate about the Fruit and Vegetable Industry.
He is finding he carries a lot of responsibility in the family business these days. However, he and Dad Warren enjoy a great working relationship and they look forward to providing exceptional quality and service for years to come.