A large-scale Hawke's Bay organic business and landholding is for sale at Bridge Pa producing blueberries, carrots, onions, potatoes, kumara, and pumpkin.
Much of the produce is branded under the True Earth label, say Tony Rasmussen and Tim Wynne-Lewis of Bayleys Havelock North, who are marketing 302 Ngatarawa Rd for sale by tenders closing at 4pm on Thursday July 25.
True Earth food products are sold to wholesalers, food processing and manufacturing companies, supermarkets and speciality stores, with a small portion exported to Australia and Asia.
The Ngatarawa Rd property encompasses four freehold titles ranging from the 12ha title with the house, packhouse, coolstores and various buildings, up to the three bare land titles of between 13ha to 18.5ha all zoned Rural 1B in the Hawke's Bay District Council plan. The various fields are accessed by well-maintained driveways.
The business has been producing certified organic vegetables since 1994 and blueberries since 2001. Produce has been packaged under the True Earth brand since 1999.
The inventory of commercial infrastructure buildings on the property includes:
• a 990sq m steel-framed packhouse on concrete foundations with an adjoining 150sq m concrete hardstand;
• two commercial cool stores of 77sq m each built on drained concrete flooring connected to a stormwater sump, and both with humidity compressors and evaporators;
• a 256sq m steel-framed implement and packing shed with roller door access;
• two Portacom offices, one of 57sq m with a timber pergola which is used for administration purposes, and the other a 36sq m unit with covered veranda on steel and concrete foundations and used as an office, staff kitchen and lunchroom;
• a 171sq m woolshed;
• a three-bedroom 230sq m owner's residence set in landscaped gardens, complete with a recently remodelled kitchen, new exterior re-plastering and paint job; and
• various historic stables and barns used when the property was a sheep farm.
Rasmussen and Wynne-Lewis say there are multiple sales permutations for the property, either in individual titles or the complete True Earth package.
Rasmussen says the True Earth business employs eight full-time staff in crop management, harvesting and administration roles, and up to 50 seasonal staff in the fields and packhouse during harvesting.
"The property's paddocks have all been licensed by the organic certification agency BioGro. This has enabled True Earth's products to be marketed as certified organic, and consequently attract a premium pricing level when taken to market," Rasmussen says.
"As a vertically integrated food production business, True Earth's balance sheet benefits from overseeing the growing, harvesting, packaging and the marketing of its products. The vertical integration also allows for a high degree of quality assurance processes."
Soils at the property are a mix of Pakowhai, Te Awa and Paki Paki sandy loams.
Water on the property is drawn from three bores. Permanent irrigation lines run down each row of the blueberry plantings with irrigation water delivered by double dripline micro sprinklers. Irrigation water for the entire property is reticulated via 1700m of 200mm steel pipe.
Wynne-Lewis said the property has 5.8ha dedicated solely to the production of Rabbit Eye and Highbush variety blueberries, with 4ha of the crop grown under canopy for frost protection.
"The Heretaunga Plains precinct within Hawke's Bay is known as the fruit bowl of the North Island, and True Earth is among the leading food producers in the region, not only in terms of its size, or the diversity of its produce, but also the quality of crops grown," Wynne-Lewis says.