Green thumb not needed for Capsicum business

5:00 AM Saturday February 21, 2015 Colin Taylor

Aerial view of 3.2 hectare Flat Tac Capsicums property which is for sale at Pipiroa on the Hauraki Plains.

A successful capsicum growing business encompassing 3.2 hectares of flat land, glasshouse and a homestead is for sale on the Hauraki Plains south of Auckland.

Flat Tac Capsicums at 25 Moehau St in Pipiroa 15 km from Thames was established by its 16 years ago and has grown into established, well-respected business and brand with an average an annual income of more than $600,000 over each of the past five years,

The property and going concern business have been placed on the market for sale with Bayleys Hamilton through an auction process on March 4.

Capsicums have become an increasingly popular fruit in New Zealand, with annual crops selling in excess of $20 million, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

“Flat Tac Capsicums supplies an expanding market in North Island and is recognised as a leader in its field,” says Josh Smith of Bayleys Hamilton who is marketing the property with Gill Bowden of Bayleys Thames.

“Its sale now represents an opportunity for a new owner to take the business to the next level,” Smith says.

“This is an enterprise that can be run at its current capacity and provide a new owner with an excellent return. Alternatively, it could be developed by expanding and increasing production with much of the infrastructure already in place to do so.”

Smith says the property and business would ideally suit an individual, couple or family who want to run their own business.

“A background in horticulture is not necessary. The current owners established the business after coming from a background in the print industry. In addition, the vendors and staff are in place to assist with a smooth transition of ownership and a specialist consultant is on hand who has been paid for by the owner for one year.”

True Commercial - 25 Moehau St, Pipiroa, Flat Tac Capsicums - interior - capsicum plants in hot house.jpg

Capsicums growing in greenhouses at Flat Tac Capsicums property 25 Moehau St at Pipiroa. 

Smith says Flat Tac Capsicum is strategically placed in the middle of the ‘golden triangle’ between Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton - three of the country’s largest cities for access to multiple produce markets.

Capsicums grow well in a traditional sub-tropical New Zealand climate, particularly in greenhouses such as those used at Flat Tac which prolong the growing season  runing from July to May. Capsicums are brought in as annual seedlings from a trusted commercial nursery and are housed within the property’s 5000 sq m green house.

A controlled growing environment employing LPG gas heating ensures optimum conditions and protects the young plants from the winter elements and summer drought.

The stock of around 20,000 plants consistently produces 140 to 150 tonnes of fruit each year. Bowden says a new variety has been introduced this season which is expected to exceed these crop production figures.

Produce is picked and graded and marketed through Turners and Growers, and sold weekly.

“Considerable care is taken throughout the growing process from staff training and the handling of produce through to the level of attention given to grading. This ensures a high-quality product enters the market,” Smith says.

Five staff are employed on a casual basis and the owner has a hands-on role in running the business, but has transitioned over time to a managerial role overseeing the operations, including marketing and finances.

Additional commercial infrastructure on the property includes, packing sheds, a lockable garage, and a dam.

In addition to the business operation, the property includes a four-bedroom kauri villa, which has been restored to a high quality.

“This beautiful home features matai flooring, a formal dining room, living room, office, two bathrooms, with French doors opening onto large decks, and generous lawns. Beyond the house, are three paddocks large enough to graze sheep or horses,” says Smith.