Italian kiwifruit packhouses' experience in dealing with COVID-19 has helped New Zealand to fast-track innovation in its own packhouses to deal with stringent new safety regulations.
Kakariki Fund Ltd, to be managed by MyFarm Investments, will invest the money in orchards, vineyards, plantations and farms, which will then be co-managed by horticulture processors and exporters.
Kakariki will focus on hops, kiwifruit, apple, vineyards and manuka plantations. The investment in manuka plantations is part of a long-term strategy to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2024.
MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters says Kakariki offers investors access to the five horticultural industries via a single $100,000 sum.
“There is really no other single investment that gives New Zealanders access to a diverse range of permanent crop businesses, or exposure to the intellectual property our partners have invested in their plant varieties and brand stories.”
MyFarm has since 2015 raised $165m to buy into 18 individual orchard, vineyard, hop and manuka plantations. Kakariki will continue that investment, with four initial assets targeted to an option to purchase. Those four are:
• An 11 canopy-hectare SunGold kiwifruit orchard in Bay of Plenty
• A 50% share in a large scale 130 canopy-hectare hop garden
• 35 canopy-hectares of Rockit apples
• A 2000ha manuka plantation development.
In each of the developments, Kakariki is working with established businesses Rockit Global, which produces miniature Rockit apples, Hop Revolution, Sacred Hill wines, Comvita, a manuka honey producer and kiwifruit grower and packer DMS Progrowers.
While Kakariki will own the properties, they will be co-managed by their business partners.
The target is annual investment returns of 10% from earnings from the sale of crops through the partners and any increases in land values.
Kakariki says it hopes to list on the NZX within three to five years.