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Seeka:Competitive base pricing for packing kiwifruit harvest

Seeka announces competitive base pricing for packing 2015 kiwifruit harvest

Tauranga, 28 November 2014 — Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd (NZX:SEK) has laid down the gauntlet to other post-harvest operators with the release to growers of a highly competitive base pricing structure for the 2015 season.

The new rates include a reduction in the base price per tray for packing conventional Hayward Green kiwifruit, reflecting savings for growers from improved technology and the delivery of scale benefits, combined with lean operating structures. Other base pricing for packing and coolstorage has been held unchanged from 2014, except for a small increase in the packing price for Zespri G3 (SunGold) after allowing for differential changes from Zespri. The increase covers the cost of capacity increases to handle anticipated larger volumes of the new variety.

“Pricing remains very competitive and Seeka as a large grower and post-harvest company has worked hard to deliver lean pricing and a value offering to its supplying growers,” said Seeka Chief Executive Michael Franks. “Despite the cost pressures, we are delivering the benefits of our scale and technology.”

Growers will also benefit from the second year of its Loyalty Programme, where growers who have agreed to supply Seeka for the next two years will be allocated Seeka shares at the rate of $0.10 per tray packed each year. This is the second year of the programme, which in 2014 saw growers allocated shares at $3.05 per share, compared to the current price of $3.25.

In another innovative development, Seeka has taken out additional hail insurance covering growers who sign up with Seeka. This is in addition to the Zespri insurance programme and provides growers with an additional $3.00 per tray cover less a 10 per cent deductible. The normal Zespri assessment processes apply to this cover.

Seeka, New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit grower, estimated it would be processing approximately 18 million trays of Green and 4 million trays of SunGold in the 2015 harvest season, which typically begins in March and ends in the first week of June.

Grower Services General Manager Simon Wells said Seeka had transitioned from being a seasonal business to one operating every day of the year. Seeka is currently midway through its avocado programme, with kiwiberry commencing in February. The recently acquired Glassfields business operates daily with its Sumifru banana, pineapple and papaya programmes, wholesale and retail services and ripening operations.

“Kiwifruit remains our foundation and the core to our business,” said Mr Wells. “But our size, diversified operations and investment in technology, have allowed us to deliver the best offering to our growers.”

ENDS

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