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Darling Group welcomes investment from Booster

New Zealand based horticulture company, Darling Group is pleased to announce an investment by Booster Tahi LP, the investment arm of Booster, a New Zealand owned superannuation scheme provider and investment manager.

A predominant focus for Darling Group is the production of avocados and citrus, and supply of these fresh fruits to Australasia, Asia and USA. As well as working with growers in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Mexico, Chile and Peru, Darling Group itself is a significant grower of avocados, citrus, kiwifruit and blueberries in New Zealand.

Darling Group’s vertical integration strategy within the horticulture industry and global supply network ensures consistency of quality and volume to the marketplace for 12 months of every year. This unique business model firmly establishes Darling Group’s leadership in the industry and was a key factor for Tahi’s investment.

“Booster was attracted to Darling Group because of their vertical integration strategy and achievements to date. When compared to others in the New Zealand avocado industry, Darling Group’s model is unique and offers Booster the ability to invest across the produce supply chain. It’s an opportunity to invest in a New Zealand company doing what they do best and help them to grow,” explains Duncan Wylie, General Manager – Strategic Development, Booster.

The investment enables Darling Group to invest further into the development of its supply chain infrastructure and capability and accelerate its New Zealand avocado orchard development plans.

“Bringing in an external investor is a strategic decision to facilitate our continued growth and will enable us to continue our goal of helping the world eat healthier every day,” says Andrew Darling, Managing Director, Darling Group.

Leading this development is the purchase of a MAF RODA avocado packing machine for their New Zealand packing facility, Just Avocados. This immediately delivers state-of-the-art industry packing capabilities, maturity level detection, and grading accuracy.

The recent investment by Tahi has also enabled Darling Group to increase their previous 50% shareholding in Zeafruit to 100% ownership. Zeafruit is a leading marketer of avocados and citrus in New Zealand and their business includes citrus orchards and a packing facility in Gisborne.

Another project underway is the conversion to avocados of a 95-hectare dairy farm in Northland, New Zealand. The development is being managed by the group’s orchard services contracting business, Avoworks and will be a high-density configuration with state-of-the-art technology including fertility management, remote irrigation and soil moisture control.

For more information:
Midge Munro
Darling Group
Tel: +64 7 549 3027
midge@darlinggroup.co.nz 
www.darlinggroup.co.nz 


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