NutriKiwi makes huge investments to take the Australian market

The post-harvest operators behind New Zealand’s largest supplier of green kiwifruit into the Australian market are investing unprecedented resources into their operations.
NutriKiwi is a joint venture between EastPack Ltd, Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool Ltd, DMS Progrowers Ltd, and Opotiki Packing & Cool Storage Ltd – four kiwifruit packhouses in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty.
Under the NutriKiwi brand, they collectively control half of all green kiwifruit available to be shipped from New Zealand to Australia between May and November each year.
NutriKiwi General Manager Michael Leach says he’s extremely proud of the steps each partner is taking to lift their game, either through investment in new technology, increasing capacity or a commitment to sustainability.
“NutriKiwi’s sole focus is to deliver great-tasting green kiwifruit to Australian consumers. The substantial new investments our partners are making in their individual operations will certainly help us achieve that,” Leach explains.
“One of our competitive edges is we only export Class A fruit to Australia. This permits 5% blemishes or shape defects compared to Class 2 fruit which allows 10% and is what other New Zealand kiwifruit companies typically send to this market.”
This season EastPack has invested $40 million in new technologies and infrastructure to help improve grading efficiency, including a new “super grader” which is the largest in New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry.
EastPack chief executive officer Hamish Simson says the investment has been made on the back of growth and volume. New camera grading technology called Spectrim has been installed which has moved automated grading up to a whole new level. ‘‘It’s the next generation of camera grading. The more accurately you can measure a grade standard or tolerance, the closer you can get to the maximum possible pack out.’’
DMS Progrowers has also upgraded its infrastructure, with a $9 million coolstore development in Te Puke and a further $12.5 million upgrade to its Te Puna site coming on stream for the 2017 season.
“The Te Puna development, which includes four new coolstores and supporting site expansions, is the biggest ever for DMS, reflecting the growing of the business and ensuring we are able to maintain our high-quality standards with increased fruit volumes,” says DMS director Craig Greenlees.
OPAC has also made significant investments in its packing and cool storage capabilities at its Opotiki site over the past three years to meet continued growth in G3 volumes supplied by growers across the Eastern Bay and Gisborne regions.
Chief executive Ian Coventry says the latest cool storage, grading and packing technologies are now in place. “Planning is well underway for a further $15m+ of capital investment during 2017/18 to ensure OPAC can maintain its focus on supplying the highest possible quality of kiwifruit to customers into the future.”
Meanwhile, Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool has put a major focus on sustainability. It has recently released its third annual Sustainability Report which analyses its economic, social and environmental performance and shows how Trevelyan’s tackled issues such as carbon emissions, waste to landfill, biodiversity and corporate social responsibility during 2016.
They claim to be the only company within New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry to carry out such an in-depth critique of its performance in these areas. Trevelyan’s Executive Director Alister Hawkey says the industry’s future depends on the successful adoption of sustainable business practices.
“To be sustainable Trevelyan’s must protect the environment that supports it, be responsible employers, neighbours and community members, and run its business in a way that leaves the orchards and industry vibrant and viable for future generations,” he explains.
“Many of the challenges we’ve identified in our report are relevant for the wider supply chain so we are keen to engage in industry-wide initiatives to make sure we are focusing on the things that will have the most impact.”
Leach says NutriKiwi directly benefits from the improvements each joint venture partners is making. “It’s great to see such innovation and commitment within our industry to continually improve performance. It means the quality of NutriKiwi fruit into the Australian market will always be first-class.”
For more information:
Michael Leach
Tel: +64 27 886 2299

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