This year volumes are expected to rise to 650,000 trays. Seeka exports most of its avocados to the Australian market and complements this with sales to Korea, Japan and in 2018 China for the first time. Seeka is able to offer avocados to its wholesale and retail partners in a combined supply programmes with other fruit including kiwifruit, nashi and European pears.
Seeka is involved in every step of the supply chain to produce great tasting fruit with excellent storage properties - an integrated growing, handling, supply and avocado marketing business. Seeka works closely with growers in Northland, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty for a well-managed harvest, picking to the demands of the market. It's this active marketing programme alongside its produce programme which satisfies Australia's post-Christmas appetite and ensures top orchard gate returns. Profitable growth for orchardists is key to a sustainable supply and Seeka is pleased to be setting the benchmark for returns to growers in each of the last five years, pushing value to every fruit size.
Seeka recognises that future growth in the industry requires investment and innovation. This year Seeka has been creating new supply strategies by actively purchasing and syndicating orchards in Northland. The company purchased post-harvest facilities in Kerikeri after identifying Northland as a growth region for avocados as well as to service existing growers. Seeka recently announced its $18m investment in the packhouse effectively doubling its capacity over the next three years.
The avocado team at Seeka is also growing with the addition of Graham Cater to lead the New Zealand team and drive investment opportunities. Gordon Collett has started as Northland growers' client relationship manager (CRM) and Seeka has extended its orchard contract services with Bradley Marshall joining the existing grower services, technical and marketing personnel.
GEM avocado orchards are being developed with Seeka's growers, an alternative variety to Hass, with the first commercial volumes expected from 2020. Seeka is the sole agent for GEM in New Zealand and the variety is known to hold fruit for longer on the tree as well as being less prone to alternate bearing.
A small but exciting subsidiary of Seeka, is the new start-up Delicious Nutritious Food Company, producing high value nutritional foods including avocado oil. It is a fresh approach to getting more value from local produce, using by-product, surplus avocados below market quality and transforming them into a healthy food product. Seeka has strong relationships with its growers and with the business’ aptitude for taking new opportunities, it is a natural fit for Seeka's culture, capabilities and aim to deliver profits to stakeholders.