Craigmore spends $32M to expand Kerikeri kiwifruit crop by 'more than a third'
By Pattrick Smellie
July 22 (BusinessDesk) - The kiwifruit crop in Northland's Kerikeri area will increase by "more than a third" following Overseas Investment Office permission for agriculture investor Craigmore Sustainables to spend $32 million developing some 137 hectares of horticultural land and offering 29 new jobs.
Craigmore raises its investment capital offshore but is run by New Zealanders. It was founded by farmer businesspeople Mark Cox and Forbes Elworthy, the son of Sir Peter Elworthy, one of the leading agricultural lobbyists of his day as head of Federated Farmers leader during the tumultuous primary sector reforms of the 1980s.
German, Hong Kong, Swiss, British, Finnish, American and New Zealand investors have invested in Craigmore's Permanent Crop Partnership, with the company tapping UK and German investment banking and agricultural sector experts who bring an international perspective to the opportunities in New Zealand agriculture.
The latest investment follows a $52 million apple orchard development in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne, with Craigmore focusing on "key central and northern regions" of New Zealand's North Island.
The fund has $50 million unspent and Craigmore is "openly looking for minority investments in existing horticultural businesses," Craigmore chief executive Che Charteris said in a statement.