Honeycrisp apple orchards for sale

5:00 AM Saturday November 5, 2016 True Commercial

The Kerrytown Road orchard is one of several 10 km north of Timaru.

A highly developed and efficient Timaru horticultural operation, with enormous potential for further productive growth, is on the market for the first time.

MA Orchards (MAO) has landholdings totalling about 70.2 ha made up of four orchards over properties in Seadown, Timaru.

The orchards — at 333 Divan Road, 189 and 174 Kerrytown Road and 472 Falvey Road — are offered for sale by deadline private treaty process, closing on Thursday November 17.

Colliers International Rural and Agribusiness sales specialist Richard O’Sullivan is marketing the properties involved in the sale with horticultural sales specialist Louise Wake.

O’Sullivan says offerings of this scale and quality seldom come to market.

“MAO is made up of four superbly developed orchards boasting very appealing economies of scale,” O’Sullivan says.

“Assets for this enterprise — offering modern planting techniques, excellent irrigation and extensive netting cover — include plant and equipment and water consents.”

On the Divan Road block this comprises the main orchard facilities, including two large sheds, an office and a four bedroom dwelling.

The assets are available as a going concern business, or separate offers will be considered for one or several parcels of land included in the offering.

An ongoing orchard management contract could also be available to the new owners along with the existing supply agreements.

O’Sullivan says these supply agreements offer attractive future income security.

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The orchard in Divan Rd has a canopy to protect against hail and bird damage.

“MAO is an export driven horticultural operation focussing on growing quality export volumes of the Honeycrisp apple variety under contract to Honeycrisp New Zealand Limited.

“Honeycrisp New Zealand Limited has key export contracts in place with established markets in North America and holds key industry relationships for the packing and processing of their fruit.

“The market demand of the Honeycrisp variety and the supporting infrastructure has been very well thought through. The first planted orchards are coming into increased production levels this season and the original crops planted in 2012 are expected to reach full production in 2018.”

Wake adds that with no leases in place on any of the infrastructure it allows the incoming purchaser multiple options.

“New owners will have the flexibility to run the property to suit.

“There is the option to either buy the property and put leases in place or run the whole venture as an owner operator.”

A highly experienced manager on MAO is supported by 12 full-time and six fixed-term staff throughout the season for all aspects of the orchard operation.

The business has Registered Seasonal Employer (RSE) status, and all Health and Safety aspects of the business are already contracted out.

The location of the orchards — 10 kilometres north of Timaru — was established to take full advantage of the flat, fertile land of South Canterbury’s alluvial river plains, ample rainfall and the cool coastal climate uniquely suited to Honeycrisp production, says Wake.

“Timaru is also the major service centre for the South Canterbury region and provides a growing sea port and stable regional population of 40,000 people.

“The region is home to several vegetable and crop processing companies and Fonterra’s second largest milk processing site.”