Costa Group is edging closer to its goal of year-round avocado production with the acquisition of family-owned grower-packer Lankester Avocado.
The acquisition will add 130ha across three farms to Costa’s avocado business, with an additional 60ha to be planted in the next 12 months, producing avocados from February through June.
“This strategic acquisition is another step in executing our strategy to build avocados into our fifth vertically integrated core produce pillar,” Harry Debney, Costa Group CEO, said in an ASX announcement released 5 July. “Our production and supply period will now span from February to August, bringing us closer to achieving 52-week supply and our ultimate goal to be the number one grower, packer and marketer of avocados.”
Costa signed the agreement in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM), which will see MAFM purchase the farm and lease it to Costa for 20 years. The agreement is the second under the arrangement between MAFM and Costa, adding to last year’s acquisition of Avocado Ridge in Queensland.
“With the current circa 370ha of avocados Costa has in central Queensland and the South Australian Riverland, this acquisition will bring [Costa’s] total plantings to circa 500ha and allow us to continue to build our production scale,” added Debney.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of this month, with the Lankester family to remain in key management and operational roles.