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Seeka expands amid the kiwifruit boom

Friday 18th August 2000

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Te Puke-based Seeka Industries is expanding its coolstore and packing facilities and planting its own land to cash in on booming kiwifruit export markets.

Seeka has reported a 34% higher $3.3 million annual profit, the fourth record gain in a row. Managing director Tony de Farias said the company was developing 100 canopy ha on leased land in addition to buying fruit from 180 Bay of Plenty-region growers.

Seeka is one of the country's largest suppliers, handling 5.2 million trays last year, or 9.5% of the national crop. Of these 1.48 million came from the company's own orchards, which will cover 240 canopy ha this year.

Seeka's crop is mainly high-yielding Zespri Gold. All fruit is marketed through Zespri, the former Kiwifruit Marketing Board.

Growers receive a "base value" payment from Zespri but also earn incremental payments by supplying the right packs combinations at the right time.

Mr de Farias said management techniques included identifying early-ripening fruit for early delivery and fruit that will keep well for the late season.

Last year Seeka growers earned incremental payments of $6 million. Seeka shareholders' funds rose 8% to $11.1 million and total assets were $19.4 million.

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