Thursday, 23 February 2017 08:55

Dairy to make way for avocados

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Avocados will replace dairy on what is to be reportedly New Zealand’s biggest avocado orchard. Avocados will replace dairy on what is to be reportedly New Zealand’s biggest avocado orchard.

Avocados will replace dairy on a 405ha farm on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has paved the way for reportedly New Zealand’s biggest avocado orchard, to be planted at Tapora, in lower Northland.

Harbour Edge Avocados will be 50% owned by Warkworth-based capsicum operation Southern Paprika, which is partly owned by Levarht in the Netherlands. There is other New Zealand ownership in the new venture. The OIO has given approval for the Dutch investors to take a greater share.

The OIO decision says the land meets key soil type and climatic criteria for a successful consistent avocado production.

Southern Paprika will sell the avocados on the export and domestic markets. Harbour Edge anticipates 90% of all avocados produced on the land by 2026/27 will be exported.

Avocado consumption globally has been growing steadily year on year, the OIO decision says. The Japan, Korea, India and China markets have been identified as having strong growth opportunity.

The ‘substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand’ identified by the OIO included jobs, increased export receipts, added productivity and walking access.

Planting is planned for 295ha of the land which is suitable for avocados while the remainder will be used for other horticultural crops. Planting is set to be completed by the end of 2020-21.

Southern Paprika – so named because the northern hemisphere name for capsicum is paprika – is New Zealand’s largest single site glasshouse grower of capsicums. It doesn’t make the spice of the same name.

It was formed in 1998 with Levarht looking for a solution to supply customers in Japan from New Zealand during the northern hemisphere winter. Southern Paprika grows capsicums year-round.


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