T&G Global has announcedsignificantinvestmentplans forits apple operations, including the construction of a NZ$100m (US$68m) packhouse.
The new packhouse will be built adjacent to the company’s existing WhakatuEast site in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay.
“The packhousewill beone ofthe largest in the southern hemisphereandwill 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 proprietaryapple 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 astheNZ$100m investment intoour world class automated packhouse, we are committingmillionstoorchard redevelopmentacross 300ha in the Hawke’s Bay and Nelsonover the next four yearstosupport ourEnvy growth strategy. This includes2D plantingsofEnvyto allow forfutureautomated technology.
“Further investment in neworchard automation equipment, including eight new picking platforms and tenhydraladasahead of the 2022 picking season,willalsoenable greater labour efficienciesand improved health and safety,not only during picking, but across a range of orchardactivities.
“T&G’sstrong partnershipand working relationshipwith our independent growers has played a critical role ingrowing theEnvybrand andourwider apples export businessover the years.Our growersare a keypart of our success andwill play a pivotal role in supporting the execution of our growth strategy moving forward.”
As well as developing T&G-owned orchards, the company isworking with other large-scale investors on opportunities to capitalise on industry growth.
This includes a recent deal with NZ Super Fund, whichpurchased 40ha ofT&G’sorchards. 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 theknowledge, expertise and energy to create this future. This is hugely exciting for T&G and forAotearoa,and we’relooking forward to delivering thisbold programme of work.”