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Seeka makes headway in Australia

Last year was a busy and profitable year for the New Zealand produce company, Seeka. The company handled record crops, acquired significant new cold stores and new orchards, as well as a new image, and delivered record profits.

Seeka acquired the Australian company, Bunbartha Fruit Packers (BFP), in 2015 and established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Seeka Australia. The company are looking forward to their first Australian season.

"The new Australian business is now fully integrated into Seeka’s business systems, although a separate stand-alone business operated from Australia. As a result, Seeka now has year-round Seeka branded quality produce in the Australian market and has set a platform for growth there," stated Michael Franks CEO of Seeka. "Our 2017 cherry, plums and nashi pear harvests are complete and we are working through the European pear harvest. We have had a great season so far and our teams are satisfied with the great quality of Nashi and pears in store. Nashi will progressively be sold in the Australian market through to the end of October."

Seeka is the biggest kiwifruit grower in New Zealand and, with the acquisition of BFP, also became the biggest kiwifruit grower in Australia. Franks described both the New Zealand and the Australian crops as looking very good, with the Australian fruit in particular looking excellent. 

"Kiwifruit is our foundation crop. The Australian harvest will start in a couple of weeks when fruit achieves 6.2 brix and we are delighted with both quality and volume in 2017. Seeka has extended its Australian packing machine in 2017, lengthening the machine, adding a new bin tip and adding punnet packing capability in 2017."
In October last year Seeka established a new brand and name. Previously known as Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Limited, it was shortened to the more catchy "Seeka", with the tag line "Select Excellence".

“The rebrand and new core values reflect what we believe are important to our stakeholders,” said Annmarie Lee, General Manager Growers & Marketing. “It will ensure we have a professional and consistent brand presence on the orchard, in the packhouse, and in the market.”

The company has extensively upgraded its New Zealand infrastructure and capacity with a coolstore and precooler expansion across the company and a new high tech Compac Sprectrim packing machine installed at its Main Road facility.

Seeka has just completed a successful avocado harvest and is mid-way through its kiwiberry campaign. Franks said, “It’s a sign of the times … in the modern age we seem to be harvesting something, somewhere, everyday of the year.”
And finally last month Seeka announced a net profit after tax of $10.4 million for 2016 - up 143% on the previous year. Turnover increased 24% to $229.4 million, while total revenues were $191.3 million - up 35% on the previous year.

For more information:

Michael Franks, Chief Executive +6421-356-516
Annmarie Lee, GM Growers & Marketing +64 21-766-244

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