NZ: Seeka submits insurance claim for fire damage

Seeka Kiwifruit Industries has submitted a multi-million dollar insurance claim for fruit losses attributable to the fire that severely damaged its Oakside packing facility in Te Puke in March.
Seeka had already lodged claims in June to its insurers for material damage to buildings and equipment, and for losses due to business interruption. Those claims had been accepted and were currently being quantified and finalised, said Chief Executive Michael Franks.
The new claim, under its marine cargo cover on the fruit, results from an extensive investigation into the cause of losses that resulted from unexpectedly high rates of fruit ripening for some of the Hayward Green kiwifruit packed by Seeka.

The investigation concluded that the affected fruit had been held in wooden packing boxes. Despite having been swabbed and cleaned as recommended after the fire, the wooden boxes had been affected by residual autocatalytic compounds that had accelerated ripening. Gold (G3) fruit handled by Seeka during the same period, which had been stored in the new plastic bins the company has been introducing, were unaffected. Seeka has ordered another 9,000 of the plastic bins.
Chairman Fred Hutchings said the uncertainty over the outcome of the insurance claims had caused Seeka to last week widened its August full year profit forecast, from an increase of 30-40 per cent, to 10-40 per cent, on last year’s $3.2 million after tax.
For more information:
Michael Franks
Tel: +64 (0)21-356-516

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