T&G Global has announced significant investment plans for its apple operations, including the construction of a NZ$100m (US$68m) packhouse.
The new packhouse will be built adjacent to the company’s existing Whakatu East site in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay.
“The packhouse will be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere and will house world-leading automation technology,” according to a release from T&G Global.
T&G Global has also committed funds to redeveloping orchards across the Hawke’s Bay and Nelson.
Gareth Edgecombe, chief executive of T&G Global, said the fresh investment fits with the company’s growth strategy for its proprietary apple variety Envy.
“The multi-million-dollar investment we are announcing today clearly demonstrates T&G’s commitment to expanding its premium apples’ category well into the future to create value for our growers, consumers and shareholders,” said Edgecombe.
“As well as the NZ$100m investment into our world class automated packhouse, we are committing millions to orchard redevelopment across 300ha in the Hawke’s Bay and Nelson over the next four years to support our Envy growth strategy. This includes 2D plantings of Envy to allow for future automated technology.
“Further investment in new orchard automation equipment, including eight new picking platforms and ten hydraladas ahead of the 2022 picking season, will also enable greater labour efficiencies and improved health and safety, not only during picking, but across a range of orchard activities.
“T&G’s strong partnership and working relationship with our independent growers has played a critical role in growing the Envy brand and our wider apples export business over the years. Our growers are a key part of our success and will play a pivotal role in supporting the execution of our growth strategy moving forward.”
As well as developing T&G-owned orchards, the company is working with other large-scale investors on opportunities to capitalise on industry growth.
This includes a recent deal with NZ Super Fund, which purchased 40ha of T&G’s orchards. That relationship sees T&G contracted to provide orchard services and all post-harvest, export and marketing services.
“The fact key partners such as NZ Super Fund are realising the strong investment opportunity and potential demonstrates the strength of our strategy and future direction,” said Edgecombe.
“This expansion programme will create a huge legacy for future generations of New Zealanders, which is incredibly special and a big responsibility for us all. We have a fantastic high performing team of dedicated and committed people, an excellent strategy, and the knowledge, expertise and energy to create this future. This is hugely exciting for T&G and for Aotearoa, and we’re looking forward to delivering this bold programme of work.”