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Record returns for Class 2 kiwifruit into Australia

MEDIA RELEASE

Seeka announces record returns for Class 2 kiwifruit into Australia

TAURANGA, 15 December — Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd (NZX:SEK) has delivered record returns to growers from its SeekaFresh programmes, primarily into Australia, the company said today.

In its latest grower forecast, Seeka said that Class 2 returns per Class 1 tray averaged $0.24 for Hayward Green (conventional) and $0.50 for Hayward Green (organic) in 2014, well up on last year and significantly ahead of industry average forecasts of $0.14 for conventional and $0.16 for organic green. The season also saw record returns for SeekaFresh-marketed avocados and kiwiberries.

“Lean overhead cost structures plus an Australia programme directed at major retailers rather than wholesalers, supported by promotions, planning and quality, have delivered Seeka growers record returns,” said Seeka chief executive Michael Franks.

Seeka, New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit grower and a leading post-harvest operator, has been active in the Australian market for eight years under its SeekaFresh brand and has retailer relationships that have spanned more than two decades.

Due to CER and an allowance in the Kiwifruit Regulations, Class 2 kiwifruit can be sold outside the Zespri single point entry system into Australia. This year Seeka growers produced 1.2 million trays of conventional Class 2 green, with 800,000 trays directly sold by SeekaFresh into Australia and the balance marketed via Zespri’s own Class 2 programme. The organic category has performed particularly well. Hayward organic volumes into Australia were up more than 400 per cent on 2013, while conventional Class 2 green volumes were up by 60 per cent.

“Seeka growers of both conventional and organics are receiving record returns for Class 2 this year on the back of a successful and growing retail programme into Australia,” said Ray Hook, Seeka’s General Manager for Retail Services.

“The SeekaFresh brand is being recognised as premium in Australia and we’re looking to a multi-product strategy to increase our penetration into more major retailers.”

SeekaFresh Manager Annmarie Lee said that approximately 75 per cent of the company’s Australia business went directly to major supermarkets.

“Our retail programme means Seeka’s growers get the benefits of avoiding the volatility in the wholesale market,” she said

- October 2014

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