Strategic alliance for NZ kiwifruit industry

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Gabrielle Easter

BY GABRIELLE EASTER

@gab_produceplus

Strategic alliance for NZ kiwifruit industry

New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry is set to benefit from two new strategic shareholders in Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage Limited

Strategic alliance for NZ kiwifruit industry

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New shareholders in kiwifruit grower-packer Opotiki Packing & Coolstorage Limited (OPAC) will give New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry in the Bay of Plenty a boost.

Māori trustee Te Tumu Paeroa and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s investment arm Quayside Holdings have taken a 10.1 per cent stake each in Opac as part of the company's over-subscribed equity capital raise of NZ$4.85m.

The investment will see the three groups work together on economic development in the region, with Te Tumu Paeroa providing trustee services to growers in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

“We want to convert other land into high value and high performing kiwifruit ventures.  Being part of the wider supply chain provides better opportunities to support that,” Te Tumu Paeroa Chief Executive Jamie Tuuta said.

“We value the expertise that OPAC has in orchard development and management and are interested in working with them to provide further opportunities for land development in the region and for young people to be part of this industry."

Quayside CEO Scott Hamilton said the investment would provide both long-term returns, as well as strong regional benefits, with strong growth projected for Eastern Bay of Plenty’s kiwifruit industry.

Opac is eyeing significant growth in its kiwifruit volumes including the Zespri SunGold variety, and has begun investing in new packing lines and new cool storage faciltiies. 

The new strategic stakeholders effectively replace former investor Seeka, which sold its 20 per cent stake back to Opac in 2014 for NZ$3.2m.

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