New Zealand kiwifruit grower-packer Seeka has submitted its insurance claim for the fruit losses as a result of damage to its Oakside packing facility in Te Puke in March.
While Seeka had previously submitted an insurance claim for the damage to its facilities, the new claim seeks to cover the unexpected losses of Hayward Green kiwifruit due to a lack of adequate storage.
Seeka said the fruit losses occurred as a result of being held in wooden packing boxes which also swapped and cleaned as recommended had residual compounds that accelerated the ripening of its fruit. Seeka’s Gold (G3) kiwifruit, however, was stored in new plastic bins and was unaffected.
“We have professionally worked through what has happened and transparently kept our growers and Zespri informed throughout,” Michael Franks, Seeka CEO said in a company statement. “We have strong supporting scientific documentation and have been advised by our experts that we have a very robust claim,”
Franks said he expects to hear from the insurance adjustor next week as to whether the new claim will be accepted.
Since the fruit loss Seeka has readjusted its full-year profit forecast from an expected increase of 30-40 per cent to a 10-40 per cent increase on the its 2014 profit of NZ$3.2m (US$2.19m) after tax.