Locals had been led to believe Baywa AG was expanding
Hawkes Bay apple juice company T&G Foods faces an uncertain future as the owner the gigantic Munich trading house Baywa AG tries to sell it into an unreceptive market
Local fabricators had tooled up anticipating the expansion of the old Turners & Growers business and now they find themselves contemplating the possibility that the business, big by New Zealand standards, but tiny by Baywa’s might simply shut its doors.
Several years ago that The Munich-based company BayWa AG acquired over 100 per cent of the third largest apple producer in New Zealand, Apollo Apples Ltd., through its New Zealand subsidiary Turners & Growers Ltd.:
The on-season/off-season growing cycle made sense at the time.
But now the German firm cites a decline in fruit volumes and a slide in apple juice concentrate prices.
T&G Foods has the capacity to process up to 200,000 metric tonnes of apples and other fruit at its two manufacturing sites, one in Hastings and the other in Nelson.
The company processes apples into apple juice and has also diversified into the production of higher margin fruit ingredient products including diced apple for the food services industry, apple sauce in bulk and small format pouches for retail consumers.
The company was founded in Germany nearly 100 years ago, operates in 34 countries and has nearly 20,000 staff
The uncertainty about the company’s New Zealand apple business is a surprise just because the main problems were well-known at the outset of the acquisition.
These included supply problems due to the widespread pulling up of orchards, and the labour problems involved in the picking of the fruit in the remaining orchards.
Baywa is a conglomerate in that it is involved in energy, notably solar, as well as in building materials, and farm equipment.
The uncertainty over the company’s processing future here comes at a time of intense political sensitivity over the acquisition of New Zealand’s primary resources by foreign firms.
This has been compounded by the worry of local constructors who had been led to believe that the company was on an expansionary path.
A South Waikato ginseng producer is ready to approach potential investors to increase its production and exports with the help of funding of up to $40,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
Maraeroa has 20 hectares of high value wild simulated Asian panax ginseng growing on the forest floor of its 5,550 hectare pine plantation. The group is looking to double the size of its ginseng plantation by raising capital and having a purpose designed processing factory built at Pureora.
Maraeroa C Incorporation is using its MPI funding to compete an investment information memorandum and business plan for potential investors.
"The economic return from ginseng will contribute to Waikato’s economic, social and cultural growth. Growing ginseng under their existing pine tree canopy has the potential to optimise Maraeroa’s return from the land for its 1,200 shareholders," says Ben Dalton, Deputy Director General, Sector Partnerships and Programmes at the Ministry for Primary Industries.
"This has been a long-term investment for Maraeroa. Growing Ginseng started out as a trial for them in 2006 and they had their first commercial harvest in 2016. The growing conditions turned out to be right for them which is exciting as Ginseng is valued at more than $400,000 per hectare," he said. Maraeroa’s funding comes from MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness fund and contributes to regional economic growth.
The Incorporation has started looking for potential investors with existing distribution channels to China. The company currently works with a small number of Chinese distributors and retailers who sell their products around New Zealand and in Hong Kong.
Maraeroa’s Chief Executive Glen Katu said increased exporting would require additional local staff to be hired for ginseng production, processing and distribution.
"We’ll need to hire more qualified and skilled local staff to handle larger product volumes and manage exports and distribution. There’s also an opportunity for further investment in research and development to expand into new ginseng product lines and build greater awareness in China about the quality of New Zealand ginseng products.
"There could be some huge long-term benefits for other forestry operators by growing ginseng. Recent studies have shown that the Central North Island forests are an ideal place to grow good quality ginseng and there is demand for wild simulated ginseng in China. We want to provide sustainable revenue for our shareholders and their families while ensuring the land is handed onto the next generation in as good, or better condition than it was received," says Mr Katu.
MPI’s MÄori Agribusiness team helps MÄori make the most of their primary sector assets from production and processing, through to exporting via tailored support.
Hilton Food Group plc (“Hilton”), the leading specialist international meat packing business, is pleased to announce it is to proceed with plans to expand its packing capability to New Zealand.
Hilton will construct a new meat processing facility in Auckland and supply Progressive Enterprises Ltd (“Progressive”), New Zealand’s leading retailer, trading as Countdown Supermarkets. As Progressive Enterprises LTD is also part of the Woolworths Ltd this development further strengthens Hilton’s existing relationship with Woolworths Ltd.
The development will take place as an extension of the existing site, and is subject to government approvals and the negotiation and finalisation of construction and tenure agreements. It is proposed that Hilton’s newly formed subsidiary, Hilton Foods New Zealand, will finance the new food packing facility, with commencement of production targeted for 2020.
The new facility will be capable of supplying Progressive stores in New Zealand with a range of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and added- value products. It is expected that Hilton’s investment in plant and equipment will be approximately NZ $ 54 m.
This announcement contains inside information which is disclosed in accordance with the Market Abuse Regulation.
| A Hilton Food Group release || October 16, 2017 |||
SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- NutriBullet, the world's original nutrient extractor, today unveiled the newest addition to its collection of products designed to achieve ultimate wellness – NutriBullet Balance – at the Smart Kitchen Summit. The NutriBullet Balance represents the evolution of blending by providing consistent taste, and detailed transparency of nutritional statistics such as calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and sugar intake, among others with every smoothie.
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The NutriBullet Balance iOS and Android compatible app allows users to track real-time nutritional data as they build recipes, customize recipes to their desired taste, set and track their nutritional goals, create plans for optimum wellness, build shopping lists, and track items in their pantry. NutriBullet's team of registered dieticians, nutritionists and food scientists collaborated with Perfect Company to curate hundreds of recipes – tailored to various health conditions, nutritional goals and flavor profiles.
NutriBullet Balance is available for pre-order now and will be rolling out to select retailers nationwide this holiday season. For more information or to pre-order the NutriBullet Balance, please visit NutriBulletBalance.com.
The warmer spring weather is finally rewarding New Zealand with an improved supply and prices on new season asparagus, courgettes and strawberries.
This week shoppers will find asparagus in either 250 gram bunches or 500g bags at the cheapest price so far this season. The courgettes are now half the price they were last week and again either loose or in 500g bags.
Broccoli supplies have been erratic over the last few days, cauliflowers have been good buying and celery, silverbeet and spinach are all selling at normal spring time prices.
Capsicums, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce and hydroponic fancy lettuces are all good buying and hot house tomatoes are slowly improving in price. There is a good supply of loose tomatoes coming up from the Nelson area. J.S. Ewers Limited is the grower who has a large sophisticated growing operation in Richmond area of Nelson. Look out for his loose and vine bitez cherry tomatoes.
Not all the news is good however. Effects of the extremely difficult winter weather are now being seen and potato prices are climbing weekly.
Some growers are running out of stock completely with top quality agria and rua potatoes only available in limited numbers, hence the high prices. This situation will not change for at least another month at the earliest so be selective in what you buy.
Continuing with the bad news, Northland kumara and Hawke's Bay crown pumpkin supplies are in the same boat with limited volumes and high prices.
Hawke's Bay apple supplies are good with granny smith, pink lady and pacific queen varieties being the best buys either loose or in 2kg bags. Green and gold kiwifruit are selling well and enjoy the Gisborne navel oranges while they are readily available at good prices this week.
New season tangelos are selling well and there is a good supply of pears, lemons, grapefruit and the last of this year's tamarillos.
Strawberry supplies are improving daily with prices getting more acceptable and you will find both early season blueberries and raspberries to add to the treat list. Imports to look out for this week will include Australian mangos and melons, US grapes and a good supply of bananas for the school holidays.
The FoodBowl and DWC FoodTech are pleased to present a tailored one-day training course providing food manufacturers (and supporting industry) the practical information needed to manage heat processing options, health risks, guidelines and compliance.
The continued rapid growth in consumer demand for chilled foods has seen a proliferation of a wide range of products utilising an increasing array of packaging and processing systems. The need for widespread distribution means that manufacturers must maximise shelf life without compromising food safety. Whilst chilled foods are perceived as fresh and healthy, there can be increased risks.
This workshop will address the issues involved in the production and distribution of safe chilled foods.
FreshPlaza | The link between weather and the price of vegetables has become all too apparent for shoppers in recent months. Grocery prices across New Zealand skyrocketed after back-to-back storms wiped out entire crops.
In our household, we swapped kumara for potatoes, after prices nudged $9/kg. Kumara was just $3.12/kg in July 2016, according to Statistics New Zealand.
It's been a terrible growing season for vegetable producers. This year's kumara crop was just one of the casualties. Planting was delayed by unfavourable weather conditions. The seedlings then struggled through a dry summer.
The country's commercial crop is grown in Dargaville and Ruawai in Northland. Record-breaking rain drenched the region just before the harvest was due to start. Mechanical harvesters couldn't get onto the waterlogged paddocks.
I've seen photos of workers trudging through mud, trying to salvage what they could of the crop.
Further south, the fertile dark brown soils of Pukekohe are used to grow everything from onions, to lettuces, squash and broccoli. Vegetables are a big earner for the region.
But Pukekohe wasn't spared when ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie pounded parts of the country. Figures from NIWA show on April 4, Pukekohe received 84mm of rain. It was one of numerous areas to experience their wettest April day on record.
The deluge wiped out entire crops of green vegetablesThe storms triggered supply shortages. It was reported that some supermarkets in the North Island were left with empty shelves. Lettuce hit $10.56 a kilogram in May, up from $4.23 a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Vegetable growers did an excellent job explaining the flow-on effects of miserable weather. Hopefully it meant shoppers pushing trolleys around the fruit and vegetable section of supermarkets at least knew why prices had spiked.
That's why I was surprised to see an Auckland restaurant owner in the media complaining about the hike in vegetable prices. Tobias Roebuck-Ward labelled the high prices "ridiculous" and "absurd". His Ponsonby restaurant had reportedly spent 42 per cent of its weekly food sales in early June on produce. Typically, that figure was between 30 and 35 per cent.
Roebuck-Ward said the rise in prices was difficult for his trendy eatery because it had a no freezer philosophy and bought fresh produce daily. We've had breakfast at his restaurant. It was amazing. But his comments left me feeling like he was out of touch with the daily challenges faced by growers.
I'd hate to think what we would have done if we'd had to rely solely on our vege patch last summer. The tomato crop was a failure. The capsicums grew to the size of a golf ball, then stalled. The perpetual spinach, snow peas and butter beans were the only things that thrived. In fact, the snow pea crop was probably a record one.
Other Taranaki green thumbs were in a similar predicament. Slavko Nikolovski's prized vegetable plot was a mass of rotted fruit and leaves when Stuff spoke to him in mid-April. It was usually brimming with ripe capsicums, verdant sweetcorn and dark juicy grapes.
The fact that some consumers are still grumbling about the record-high cost of vegetables highlights the disconnect between shoppers and reality. If you've ever tried growing broccoli, cauliflower and kumara in your backyard, you'll know they take months to grow - not days. Those storms may seem like a lifetime ago, but it's only been a few months. That's why the flow-on effects are still being felt at the checkout.
In many cases, entire rotting crops had to be replanted. That couldn't happen until sodden soils had dried out enough for tractors to get on them.
I spent a number of years working as a reporter in Orange, which is about four hours inland from Sydney. At the time, the region was gripped by a prolonged drought. Rain would bring hope to weary sheep and cattle farmers, but it could often be a curse for orchardists. A hail storm at Christmas would split cherries, wiping millions from the crop's value. That's why it's important people always try to understand the connection between the weather and their food.
A move has begun to develop a tropical fruits demonstration farm in the Gisborne district with the initial focus on the potential for commercial banana production.
Northland-grown bananas have been at markets in Northland for some time and the rising interest in their production led to the formation of the Tropical Fruit Growers of New Zealand (TFGNZ) group.
That group has begun to explore and experiment with tropical fruit production in Northland with bananas as their first focus.
The group has offered their expertise to the Te Nahu whanau Tai Pukenga Trust based in Papatu Road at Manutuke.
“Looking for diversification, the trust has researched the establishment of a tropical fruits demonstration farm on that land,” said trust programme manager Trevor Mills.
Mr Mills said growing bananas on a commercial basis provided a better shorter-term commercial return than other horticulture crops like citrus and grapes.
“The Northland banana growers are getting $5 a kilo for their fruit. They have sweetness and taste that imported bananas cannot provide. The total value of imported bananas consumed in New Zealand is now over $150 million a year.
“As a result of their research, the TFGNZ group reports a possible return of $20,000-$30,000 a hectare after about a 30-month period from planting to harvesting.”
Compac has announced the development of new technology to overcome the traditional issues associated with grading and sorting cherries.
End View is the new cherry grading technology that utilizes learnings from Compac’s Spectrim platform to improve outcomes for cherry-specific produce lines. End View will be available as a modular upgrade for existing customers, and as part of Compac’s cherry inspection solution InVision 7-View.
Due to their size and shape, cherries can be difficult to properly grade using existing cameras and technology. However, End View utilizes new cameras and software to detect and grade nose and stem defects such as rain cracks and mildew, while keeping current production speeds.
Embracing innovative technology has become more important for cherry growers as newly planted trees continue to come into production, pressuring existing plant capacities. With changing weather patterns growers are also trying to reduce the impact of unseasonal rain events, which are the main contributor to previously undetectable nose cracks.
Compac CEO Mike Riley said the importance of sorting cherries accurately is imperative in protecting batches from spoilage and providing high-quality exportable products for international consumers.
“One bad cherry can ruin a box. Our customers rely on our technology to maintain the quality of their product and protect their reputation and brand.
“We’re always striving to be on the cutting edge of grading and sorting technology development. As the fresh produce and agriculture sector continues to evolve, keeping up with demand and expectation will be key.”
The new End View solution also utilizes Compac’s latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities. SmartMapTM and SmartSkinTM AI provides improved defect detection and categorization, and ease of use.
Recently, Compac partnered with Pure Pac in New Zealand’s South Island to outfit the operation with the most advanced, gentle and food safe best-of-breed sorting solution including the End View technology. As the company plans to begin exporting its premium product internationally in 2017/2018, accurate sizing and grading, including detection of stem and nose defects were important parts of Compac’s proposal.
The End View prototype was tested in New Zealand, America and Canada. Director of Panmure Orchards in New Zealand saw immediate benefits from the technology. “In terms of End Views which include improved optics and software, the machine can now see the whole fruit allowing additional classification of fruit surface which improves the quality of pack. A secondary benefit is the increase in packhouse throughput on nose cracked batches whilst still maintaining the quality of the pack.”
Riley says Compac is dedicated to continual investment into cherries, directly improving performance and adding capabilities to advance yields and boost the quality of produce globally.
“We were receiving such strong global demand for a next generation cherry grading solution that we decided to accelerate our Inspection Systems roadmap to focus on this. We’re absolutely thrilled with the result and feedback from our development customers has been superb. We can’t wait to see this product in packhouses across the world.”
End View will officially be launched later this year at PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans, with roll out to begin in 2018 across the globe.
Kegstar has acquired Keg Lease Pty Ltd, a specialist keg leasing company that focusses on the Australian craft beer industry.
Keg Lease was previously owned by brewing ingredients supplier Bintani.
“Since commencing operations in December 2012, Keg Lease has grown to be a major supplier of keg leasing services in the Australian market with in excess of 21,000 kegs currently leased to over 125 customers,” Bintani said in a statement.
“We now feel the time is right for Kegstar to continue the growth of Keg Lease with its strong access to capital as part of Brambles and the opportunity to provide integrated keg solutions that incorporate both leasing and pooling.”Kegstar has incorporated the Keg Lease fleet into its current operations, giving brewers and other beverage manufacturers the option of keg pooling or keg leasing services.
Kegstar General Manager, Nick Boots, said: “This exciting acquisition provides Kegstar customers with with a broader variety of flexible keg management options to match their needs. Having a comprehensive leasing option alongside Kegstar’s well-established keg pooling solutions will be attractive to a broader catchment of producers. We will launch the Keg Lease business in New Zealand in October.”
Kegstar launched in 2012, with global supply chain logistics company Brambles acquiring a 30% stake in the company in 2014 and taking complete ownership on 1 December 2015.The acquisition means Kegstar can now offer customers branded kegs.
Kegstar CEO Adam Trippe-Smith told Brews News: “There’s proven to be a demand for keg leasing for either start-up phase breweries, or single state breweries or breweries that want branding on the keg. Up until now we haven’t offered that and we do see a demand for it. If that’s what customers want, we want to be able to offer it to them.”
Bintani Australia will remain involved in selling and repairing kegs through its Keg Services operations.
| A Drinks Bulletin release || September 4, 2017 |||