Seeka has opened its new packhouse in Kerikeri.
The new packhouse building and grading machinery completion is part of the $18.6m facility upgrade and investment in Northland.
"This is a world class post-harvest facility. The investment will significantly lift the capacity of the business and give growers better harvest timing across all varieties handled – kiwifruit, avocados and citrus. While there is a little way to go to complete the upgrade to the site, final machine shifts, coolstore builds and construction, this is an important waypoint achieved," Seeka's chief executive Michael Franks said.
"We are ensuring our local people have the right infrastructure to deliver quality, price and service in our post-harvest business. We are investing to support our existing growers along with the tremendous support of new growers choosing Seeka as their post-harvest service provider. The investment will add to the economic vibrancy of Northland and local contractors were used extensively on the build."
The event was attended by growers, local government officials and community leaders.
"Ngati Hine Forestry Trust celebrates this new facility, it looks fantastic. It's great to see the support Seeka has shown to the community they are part of and their contribution to the local economy through investment and employment," Pita Tipene from Ngati Hine Forestry Trust said.
The opening came one year after Seeka bought the facility from T&G Global.
Franks said the timeline in achieving this build was due to the professionalism of those involved.
Seeka's investment of $18.6m over two years in Northland is in line with the company's heartland growth strategy and the expectation that volumes of kiwifruit and avocados will increase in the area.