This year marks 50 years of service to the New Zealand Food Industry.
The Davis journey started in 1967 in Wellington, trading for 15 years as a small local distributor selling food, gifts and kitchenware. By 1982, sales had risen to a little under $1m and we were employing five full-time staff. From early 1983 to 1987 new shareholders bought into the company and introduced a vision - to become one of New Zealand’s largest food ingredient supply companies. This vision was carried on after the turn of the century after some of our shareholders retired. The new shareholders brought their skills and commitment to continue this vision of high growth without compromising on quality and ethics. These days, 85% of the company is owned by people who work at Davis every day, and the balance is owned by those who have retired from Davis, but retained their shares. We see this as a strong belief in our way and our culture, which is definitely part of our success.
People have and will always be, an integral part of our success. We strongly believe this success is due to the high quality of our people and their willingness to be part of the Davis culture for many years. Every year we celebrate anniversaries of people who have been part of the team for 5, 10, 15, 25 and even 30 years. We are proud these people have chosen to work for Davis for so many years. It has been our privilege to have so many customers also supporting us and being part of our journey for many years. Some of our customers who are family owned, are onto the second or even third generation of being a Davis customer.
Today we are proud to still be a 100% New Zealand owned company and able to compete successfully with our mostly foreign owned competitors. Our jobs are New Zealand jobs and our tax is paid in New Zealand. At start-up we had a tiny warehouse at the back of a Milk Processor. Today we have 9 warehouses strategically placed to enable us to provide the best service possible. Our staff numbers are 40 times those of our early days and our sales are now well in excess of $200m. There remains a commitment to a long term view and we will continue to invest in our people and logistics infrastructure.
Our vision remains to continuously grow the company by earning customer trust to be the supplier of choice. We will do this ethically, with no enticements that our customers owners are not fully aware of. We will strive to give our customers competitive high quality, safe food ingredients.