Horticulture

Seeka raises capital to fund expansion

[12 November/Eurofruit] Seeka has announced plans to raise $50 million in new capital to strengthen its balance sheet by paying down debt and providing the financial flexibility to pursue its growth strategy.  The capital will be raised through the launch of a new Grower Share Scheme (GSS), a rights issue and the issue of shares...

Stocks of bananas running low at New Zealand supermarkets

[9 November/NZ Herald] Changes in international shipping routes have led to stocks of bananas running low at New Zealand supermarkets.  A spokesperson for Foodstuffs said that banana supplies are short right now due to unforeseen shipping issues but added that supplies are expected to be back to normal by the end of the month. A...

Investment fund eyes Central Otago cherry option

[13 November/NZ Herald] Craigmore Sustainables CEO, Che Charteris, says that the company’s $250 million Permanent Crop Partnership is quickly approaching its target funding level and they are expecting a close for the funds in the next month.  The fund has been set up to build a diversified business of the best of New Zealand orchards,...

Zespri chairman Peter McBride stands down

[31 October/NZ Farmer] Zespri chairman, Peter McBride, has announced that he will resign for the role in February next year and will not seek re-election to the board when his term expires in the middle of next year. Mr McBride had previously told Fonterra shareholders, were he is running for election to the board, that...

New apricot’s a ‘shot in the arm’

[1 November/Rural News] A new grower co-operative, which is currently a subcommittee of Summerfruit NZ’s board, is being set up to commercialise three new apricot varieties in coming seasons. The fruit which currently have no brand names and the company which is yet to have a trading name established is being launched with the intention...

Zespri sues for $70 million over trademark breach in China

[6 November/Radio NZ Rural] Zespri has filed proceedings in the High Court in Auckland seeking an award of damages against a grower who illegally supplied the Sungold kiwifruit plants to China. Zespri is arguing the supply of the plants breached its intellectual property rights over the variety and was trademarked. The company had discovered 160...

Kiwifruit is king!

[29 October/Rural News] New Zealand kiwifruit demand is being driven by a trend amongst consumers who are looking to live better and healthier lives. Zespri Chief Executive, Dan Mathieson, said kiwifruit fit perfectly into that category. He added sales growth had been strong with 150 million trays last year, up from 120 million. A lot...

Seeka enters into $15.9m sale deal for five kiwifruit orchards

[24 October/Radio NZ] Seeka agreed to sell five Northland kiwifruit orchards for almost $16 million. It said the agreements included the purchasers entering into long term supply contracts for each of the orchards, which Seeka would manage on their behalf. Seeka added the sale agreements were conditional on the purchasers completing due diligence within 20...

Waikato’s Zealong tea brews another global winner

[23 October/NZ Herald] For the second consecutive year New Zealand’s only commercial tea estate, Zealong, has won the top prize in its class at the Global Tea Championships.  Zealong competed against 140 teas from 16 countries in the competition held in Colorado, winning the silver medal in the pan-fired green category of the loose leaf...

Avocado market grows for Thailand

[18 October/The Country] The nutritional and health benefits of New Zealand Avocados has caused rapid growth in avocado exports to Thailand. New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, opened the New Zealand avocado season launch event in Bangkok. It showcased the increasing popularity of New Zealand avocados in Thailand. New Zealand Trade Commissioner, Ryan...

Horticulture group members sought

[17 October/Rural Life] Nominations for memberships for the new national Women in Horticulture leadership group were wanted as part of its establishment process. A mandate to start the group came from a session at the Horticulture New Zealand conference. Horticulture New Zealand Policy Analyst, Eve Williams, said those who wished to put their name forward...

Lethal strain of Psa hits NZ – owned Seeka kiwifruit orchard in Australia

[17 October/Stuff] A lethal strain of the Psa bacteria was detected for the first time in Australia on a kiwifruit orchard owned by New Zealand horticulture business, Seeka. The disease caused havoc on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry in 2010, forcing some growers out of business. The Psa tolerant gold variety helped remedy the situation....

Teviot Valley couple just mad about saffron

[16 October/Rural Life] Teviot Valley couple, Wendy King and Graham Strong, produced premium saffron that was gaining worldwide attention and had proven health benefits. It attracted high prices, but was hard work. The flowers needed to be handpicked, and plucked by hand. Mr King emphasised weeding was a large part of the job. They started...

Vegetable prices fall

[11 October/Rural News] Vegetable prices fell 8.7 percent in September. Lettuce prices fell 45 percent and according to Statistics New Zealand, lettuce heads were down to $1.81 each. Prices reached a high of $5.42 in July 2018 due to poor weather, but there had been two major price falls since. At the same time last...

Horticulture contender relishes opportunity

[3 October/Rural Life] According to Otago Polytechnic Graduate, Morgan Hampton, contesting the title of New Zealand’s top young horticulturist was not for the faint hearted, but was a great opportunity. He owned Bluestone Gardeners and Nursery. He made it to the final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year, alongside five other competitors. The grand...

Big plans for NZ avocado exports to China

[8 October/Radio NZ] New Zealand Avocado have plans to grow exports to China since securing market access. The first shipment arrived in China last week. It followed years of preparations, inspections, trialling and certification by Chinese and New Zealand authorities. New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive, Jen Scoular, said around 40,000 trays would be sent this...

Wet winter could result in veggie shortages – grower [25 September/Radio NZ] New Zealand potato grower, AS Wilcox, warned a wet winter could lead to a vegetable shortage over winter. They produced 30,000 tonnes of potatoes a year, similar volumes of onions, and 5,000 tonnes of carrots. Its General Manager, Brent Wilcox, said continuous rain...

Fruitful results for Vietnam’s dragonfruit industry

[28 September/Radio NZ] Scientists from New Zealand believed they had found a way to double dragonfruit production. This would be achieved through changing the way the plants are trained. Plant and Food Research scientists worked in Vietnam for five years as part of an aid programme to improve returns for dragonfruit growers. Head of Plant...

Tomato growers plan 24-hour strike in pursuit of living wage

[23 September/Stuff] New Zealand tomato growers will strike for 24 hours to protest low pay. The union representing the growers, First Union, said more than 100 growers and distribution and logistics employees at T&G Global would protest. Its lead organiser, Denise Roche, said the action was in protest of low pay and its refusal to...

Massive bed shortages expected during Central Otago’s peak harvesting periods

[18 September/Stuff] The expansion of the Central Otago cherry industry means there may not be enough beds for the workers required to harvest them. More than 465 hectares of cherry trees are expected to be planted across the region, which represented a 56 percent increase on the current level. An additional 284 hectares of grapes...

‘It’s Australia’s problem’ – New Zealand strawberry grower on needles fiasco

[24 September/NZ Herald] A strawberry grower assured consumers New Zealand strawberries were safe and unaffected by the needle problem in Australia. In the first reported case here, needles were found in imported strawberries at St Lukes Countdown. The company withdrew the brand from its shelves. Foodstuffs said it would half the distribution of Australian strawberries...

Tauranga’s Maori berry company Miro could rival kiwifruit’s Zespri

[15 September/NZ Herald] A Maori owned berry company in Tauranga believes it could be as successful as Zespri. Miro plans to become an export success story by putting tunnel houses on underutilised Maori land nationwide, creating over 5,000 jobs and put $500 million into the economy. Business Development Manager, Liz Te Amo, said it had...

Taxpayer costs for kiwifruit claim trial balloon out to $6m

[17 September/Stuff] Taxpayers had spent $6 million on defending the kiwifruit claim case. It was the most expensive primary sector court case on record. Growers had claimed the Ministry for Primary Industries were negligent in allowing the Psa disease into the country in 2010 and are claiming more than $450 million in compensation. MPI wanted...

Volume pushes Scales profit up

[29 August/Farmers Weekly] Higher apple volumes and prices increased profits for Scales Corporation. It was waiting for confirmation of its sale of its Polarcold business. All its divisions traded strongly, but Mr Apple subsidiary accounted for around 75 percent of its earnings. An improved growing season meant fruit volumes were much higher. Scales Corp Managing...