As the new year fast approaches, bringing with it the new season's produce and further business development, it's worth taking a moment to reflect on the achievements of the Seeka team and growers over the past 12 months. It has been a great growth year with some note-worthy milestones.
Acquisition and integration of Seeka Kerikeri
In April Seeka purchased post-harvest facilities in Kerikeri handling avocados, kiwifruit, citrus and berries. Seeka had identified Northland as a growth area and establishing a post-harvest hub in Northland had been a priority to service existing growers. The integration was seamless, thanks to a high performing team who implemented system changes in the middle of a kiwifruit harvest. Seeka recently announced its $18m investment in the packhouse effectively doubling its capacity. The investment is spread over three years principally because it can’t get the facilities built any faster. The company sees growth in kiwifruit and avocados needing more capacity with sophistication and professional standards.
Orchard info on the go - Seeka's grower app
The recently launched Seeka app increases transparency and connects growers with their fruit as it passes through the supply chain. The app works for both avocado and kiwifruit growers and allows them to manage safety features, view maps, understand clearance and clearance results, packing as it happens and fruit performance through the cool-chain. Seeka is excited by this in-house innovation that works on any phone or tablet. The app simplifies orchard information into one source. The tech team are already working on the next wave of development, watch this space!
Avocados turn it on
Seeka's avocado harvest is in full swing, bringing premium New Zealand fruit to both local and export markets. The 2018/19 season runs from August to February and this year's volumes are expected to rise to 650,000 trays. Seeka exports most of its avocados to the Australian market and complements this with sales to Korea, Japan and in 2018 China for the first time. Seeka works closely with growers in Northland, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty, picking to the demands of the market. It's this active marketing programme, alongside its produce programme, which satisfies Australia's post-Christmas appetite and ensures top orchard gate returns. Profitable growth for orchardists is key to a sustainable supply and Seeka is pleased to be setting the benchmark for returns to growers in each of the last five years.
Strong kiwifruit season
New Zealand kiwifruit production increased 20% with over 30m trays in 2018. Growers have had a successful and safe harvest, reported fruit loss for Gold of 0.78% compared to an industry average of 1.40% and Green slightly ahead of the industry's 2.98% at 3.74%. Inventory in local coolstores have now left New Zealand shores to be sold in international markets. Looking ahead, pollination is well underway and all but complete for Gold and Green. Flower numbers have been good with significant flower thinning but variation in flower maturity.
Successful capital raising
A total of approximately $50m has been raised by Seeka in the lead up to the end of 2018 under the Rights Offer and Shortfall Bookbuild. The capital raise strengthens the company’s balance sheet and provides the flexibility to continue executing our strategy of managed growth to deliver value to both shareholders and stakeholders.
Corporate Leadership Award
Seeka was awarded the Corporate Leadership Award 2018 at the Tauranga Business Awards for outstanding contribution to the local economy. Seeka was recognised for the company’s economic impact, employment scale, investment in the area and community involvement. The award is a huge honour for everybody's hard work - a great team of inspirational people, top quality growers and businesses and contractors supporting the organisation.