New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has paved the way for the establishment of the country’s largest avocado orchard, Fairfax Media has reported.
Partly Dutch owned group Southern Paprika is one of the backers behind the proposed Harbour Edge Avocados operation. The OIO signed off on the investment being made from Southern Paprika’s foreign owners, with Harbour Edge now clear to acquire a 405ha dairy farm on Kaipara Harbour for NZ$8m.
Harbour Edge intends to plant avocados on 295 ha of the land, with production set to be around 5000 tonnes per year once trees reach full maturity, according to Fairfax. Planting is set to be completed by the end of the 2020-21 financial year.
"Once it is fully planted it will be the biggest orchard in the country," Jen Scoular, chief executive of Avocados New Zealand, told Fairfax Media.
Export looms as a significant component of Harbour Edge’s business model, with the company anticipating around 90 per cent of its production will be shipped internationally.