Seeka has won the Corporate Leadership Award 2018 for outstanding contribution to the local economy it operates in. The gala dinner held earlier this month awarded Seeka for the company’s economic impact, employment scale, investment in the area and community involvement.
Michael Franks, Seeka’s CEO is appreciative of the accomplishment, “Our growth as a company is a combined effort. We have a great team of inspirational people who stand out from the crowd and think of new ways to deliver quality products and services. Seeka is proud of the team’s contribution but would like to acknowledge that without the world-class growers we work with and for, we would never have achieved this level of success. We also recognise those local businesses and contractors supporting our organisation. The award is a huge honour for everybody’s hard work.”
Seeka is an integrated horticultural and produce company that grows, processes, distributes and markets high quality produce to world markets. New Zealand kiwifruit is Seeka’s core business – integrated orcharding, post-harvest and supply. Seeka is a large scale grower, but mainly running orchards owned by other people through leasing or managed structures.
The company is more than 75% owned by New Zealanders and is listed on the NZX, and operates to all the regulatory standards that you would expect for a company on the stock exchange. Our revenues are around $200m and the company is a corporate, you don’t have to be a grower to be a shareholder, and you don’t have to be a shareholder to supply the company with your fruit. However, many of its growers and staff have chosen to become shareholders.
The company has grown significantly over the last five years as it deploys its strategy with acquisitions – now operating in Australia and Northland in addition to the Hawkes Bay, Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel. Across the business Seeka employ more than 300 permanent staff and 3000 seasonal workers.
Seeka is a key supplier to the global kiwifruit trade with around 20% market share in New Zealand. The industry is predicting export earnings to increase of over 150% by 2025 with increased production of the popular SunGold variety which has strong consumer demand, especially in Asia, and commands high pricing.
This year Seeka purchased post-harvest facilities in Kerikeri handling avocados, kiwifruit, citrus and berries. Seeka identified Northland as a growth area and establishing a post-harvest hub in Northland had been a priority to service existing growers. Seeka recently announced its $18m investment in the packhouse effectively doubling its capacity.
Seeka is also strong in avocados setting the benchmark for returns to growers in each of the last five years. Seeka is involved in every step of the supply chain and provides fruit to both wholesalers and retailers. Seeka exports most of its New Zealand avocados to the high returning Australian market. Seeka complements the Australian sales with sales to Korea, Japan and in 2018 China for the first time.
A small but exciting subsidiary of Seeka, is the new start-up, Delicious Nutritious Food Company producing high value nutritional foods - Kiwi Crush, Kiwi Crushies and avocado oil. Kiwi Crush is natural kiwifruit based drink which helps to keep your digestive system regular and healthy. Found in the frozen section of local supermarkets, it’s an effective alternative to harsh laxatives. The product is recommended and used by hospitals, rest homes and dietitians. The ice-block version, Kiwi Crushies is popular with kids.
Seeka Australia's orchards are located in Bunbartha, Victoria. With 600 hectares of land, Seeka Australia is the largest grower of kiwifruit and largest nashi pear grower as well as European pears and some stone fruit. Seeka is the grower, packer and distributor providing the majority of its produce to the domestic Australian market. Seeka’s supply in Australia is projected to grow following significant development and investment to meet increasing market demand for premium produce.