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Patrick Malley - Maungatapere Packing

"We are looking forward to further volume growth over the next few years with some more growers/orchards coming on board"

Maungatapere Packing (MPL) is now in it's second full packing season, set up in 2021 the facility packs blueberries for the Australian export market with the very latest in blueberry packing machinery. 

"Volumes have increased in our second season, although not as much as we had originally planned due to a difficult growing season and damage to the blueberry crop in Northland from challenging spring conditions and then later from Cyclone Gabrielle, said Patrick Malley, Director at MPL.  "However, we are looking forward to further volume growth over the next few years with some more growers/orchards coming on board, as well as volume growth from our existing growers."

Despite the challenging growing conditions the overall the quality of blueberries grown in the Northland region of New Zealand has been good and Patrick is seeing very good quality berries in the packhouse being sent to both domestic and export markets.

"Packhouses are gatekeepers for poor fruit quality, but we can’t improve fruit quality once it has been harvested, so it is fantastic to be able to work with a group of growers who have the same passion for great quality and great taste that we do.

"Definitely the main challenges for us this season has been the impact upon the logistics chain, with multiple slips and road closures throughout Northland causing transportation chaos, particularly with the state highways in our region also suffering from damage during recent weather events and complete closure in some cases. With perishable fresh produce, the time from orchard to packhouse, and packhouse to market, can be a critical element, so it has been really important to have strong relationships with our transport partners in order to navigate these challenges."

Patrick said they have had to be more flexible and work with all of the stakeholders in order to get fruit packed, into cool chain, and then off to the market as efficiently as possible.

"Our team has been one of the most important elements to making this happen, and they have really stood up to the test in working long days, early mornings or even through to midnight the night before a long weekend in order to get the berries packed and to the consumer as quickly as possible."

For more information:
Patrick Malley
Maungatapere Packing Limited
Tel: +64 21 963 363 

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