Something else that hasn’t changed is our family ethos. We work collaboratively and hold close relationships with all of our growers, many of whom like the way we operate so much that they have become shareholders (95% of all the fruit we process is grown by shareholders of our company).
We have a history of innovation and were amongst the first Orchard Management companies to encourage conversion to gold kiwifruit. We also pioneered a successful one year conversion process. Our unique pruning techniques have been proven to increase canopy cover and we have developed an accurate prediction model which helps growers to accurately forecast profits and assists them with business planning.
We work hard to add value to our growers by going the extra mile. For example, on the Orchards we manage, we take care of the spray notifications to neighbouring properties. We help our growers’ by selling them spray at a preferential rate so they still enjoy a volume discount but they only have to buy as much as they need, when they need it. And we wear the cost for additional testing so that they can achieve optimal profits by picking at the best possible time.
We pride ourselves on transparency of invoicing and flexible terms (weekly, monthly etc.). Most importantly, we know our growers personally and we share a lot of knowledge with them. We’re in touch regularly via fortnightly email tips and monthly face-to-face reviews in a relaxed social setting. From time to time we also run local field days where growers visit local orchards to learn from each other’s systems and outcomes.
We see these things as a win-win and our focus is on expertise and profit outcomes rather than the cost of delivery.