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Low Fruit Loss Equals Higher Returns

November 30, 2004

Low Fruit Loss Equals Higher Returns For Satara Growers

While many of the major post harvest operators in the kiwifruit sector lament a poor storage season and high fruit losses, Satara is enjoying an excellent storage season with minimal fruit loss.

Following its record of nearly 400 million kiwifruit (11.1 million trays) harvested in 2004, New Zealand's leading kiwifruit co-operative attributes the minimal losses to the consistently high standard of fruit supplied from its growing areas throughout the entire storage season – and to the high standard of care provided by Satara's facilities.

Satara's general manager operations, Murray Gough, says one result of the low fruit loss is that Satara growers will receive higher returns than most.

"Our growers will be at least 20c per tray better off than the average industry grower and more than 50c per tray ahead of growers who supply facilities where there has been particularly high fruit loss," says Gough.

"In a year when Zespri's return for Green and Green Organic kiwifruit is forecast to be down by something in excess of $2.20 per tray, the cost of fruit loss industry wide will be critical to growers. Satara growers' returns will be between $1500 and $4000 per hectare more than most industry growers due to our low fruit loss.

"Because of the good condition of our fruit, Zespri has kept it in coolstorage longer than fruit from most other suppliers, making our low fruit loss even more remarkable. Our Green, Green Organic and Gold pools have incurred fruit loss at levels significantly less than the industry average."

In the case of Satara's Green pool, the level of fruit loss is 60 per cent less than the industry average, and for the Green Organic pool it is 50 per cent less.

The good news is timely for Satara which plans to list on the NZAX in December. The decision to list the company's Investor class of shares has always been part of the five-year plan of this, one of New Zealand's leading kiwifruit and avocado post-harvest businesses.


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