A large scale, well established Far North avocado orchard has been put on the market, offering what Bayleys Bay of Islands rural salesperson Alan Kerr says is an opportunity for an investor to enjoy immediate returns from the high-value sector as demand for the fruit continues to grow.
The orchard, near Sweetwater, represented 20 years of commitment from its original owner and founder, American-New Zealander Jerry Trussler, whose far-sighted vision for the sector led him establish the 36 canopy-hectare orchard at a time when the fledgling industry was distinguished by significantly smaller properties, he said.
The total property comprised 79ha across an attractive, rolling block.
"Jerry's passion for avocados and the deep sandy soils he chose to plant them on made its establishment as much an act of love as it was an astute business decision," Kerr said.
"Today you are looking at an orchard that has been planted along the contour of the land, in contrast to most modern orchards, where the hills tend to be bulldozed away, and trees planted on the flat land."
Keeping the plantings along the land's contours had ensured the soil's excellent drainage was used to full effect, reducing the risk of root rot from excessive moisture levels.
"As one of the first large-scale avocado plantings in Northland, it is now a well established, high-quality producer with minimal bi-annual cropping," he added.
Meanwhile long-time orchard manager Bill Wiessing, who also brought a high level of passion and commitment to the orchard, was keen to remain as the manager under a new owner. With quality management a key part of any orchard's success, Wiessing's expertise provided incoming investors with peace of mind that its potential was being optimised.
"The orchard offering is very much a package, and not only including Bill's management skill. A full complement of plant and machinery is included, making any transition to ownership very transparent and without any other significant costs to incur," Kerr said.
The plant and machinery included three tractors, three orchard utes, hydra-ladders, trailers and mowers, while, with 8250 established trees, the orchard was reliably generating good crop levels, with a forecast for this season of 90,000 trays.
Wiessing worked closely with the orchard's marketers, ensuring supply at peak market demand periods, including the late domestic market, when grower returns were high.
That active market approach was reflected in the orchard's healthy returns, with a forecast profit for this year of about $1.2 million.
"This is a very appealing rate of return, particularly when you put it alongside the high-value kiwifruit orchards we are now seeing in Northland," Kerr said.
The scale was matched by its appealing aesthetics, which included four lake and wetland systems. In its entirety, the property had an appealing rolling contour with a landscape that made it an attractive orchard in which to live and work.
The property also included a tidy three-bedroom manager's house and a sizable four-bay machinery shed.
"The Northland region is rapidly becoming the new avocado centre, and this opportunity offers investors an opening to tap straight into the returns already being generated, and only likely to rise in coming years as the appetite for avocados grows in Asia," Kerr added.
The property was for sale by negotiation; interested parties could contact Alan Kerr on (021) 730-353 or email@example.com