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Horticulture: It’s A Kiwi Success Story

You don’t have to be an orchardist to invest in the kiwifruit industry. Southern Cross Horticulture offers Kiwis a piece of the action.

5 October 2021

Autumn 21

(In partnership with Southern Cross Horticulture)

The SunGold kiwifruit variety has become New Zealand’s main driver of horticulture industry growth.

It’s propelled Zespri, the biggest horticultural exporter in New Zealand, into a global leader, with revenues surpassing $3 billion in 2021 and a target of $4.5 billion by 2025.

This is a story of growth on a global scale. Many Kiwis want to be able to invest in this thriving success story – and now they can.

Family-owned business Southern Cross Horticulture has been in the kiwifruit industry for more than 40 years.

In 2019, it formed Southern Cross Investment Partners (SCIP) to seek co-investors who are looking for long-term exposure in the kiwifruit industry through a series of orchard developments and downstream investments in the sector.

SCH specialises in offering high-performing turn-key orchard developments for their own investment partnerships and third-party customers within the industry. The internal rate of return (IRR) is in double digits.

The world’s best orchards

Its business model is designed to create the world’s best kiwifruit orchards, says chief executive Andrew Dunstan.

“We’ve been blessed over time to be able to create a vertically integrated chain across every aspect, from land purchase through to design, subdivision, site preparation, water exploration, nurseries, orchard construction, and leading vine management.”

This end-to-end solution means it can tightly control every aspect of the development and operation of world-class kiwifruit orchards. This is reflected in orchards that consistently:

  • Come into production more quickly.
  • Produce yields well above industry averages.
  • Are built to stand the test of time.
  • Produce superior returns on investment.

Dunstan says: “Our track record and the capable people within the business put it in a strong position to take part in the continued growth of kiwifruit production in New Zealand.

“We have the ability to construct, plant, and establish up to 100 hectares of new orchards each year.

“We’re keen to keep growing our family exposure to the kiwifruit story, and it makes sense to do this alongside professional co-investors who share our values and identify with our mission and purpose.”

A wider mission

Dunstan says the business has a wider mission.

“The values we strive to live by are embodied by excellence, integrity, teamwork, relationships, and attitude.

“Our mission is to create the world’s best kiwifruit orchards – and by fulfilling this we serve our purpose of enhancing our team, our customers, our shareholders, and our community.”

“SCIP helps us to scale the development of world-class orchards to meet projected demand for kiwifruit and provides an opportunity for like-minded investors to partner with SCH on this journey.

The Dunstan family behind SCH is the cornerstone investor in each project Southern Cross Investment Partners takes on.

World-class orchards aside, he says, “a big part of why people invest with us is that we pride ourselves on spending other people’s money wisely – the same as if it is our own.

“This doesn’t mean we’re perfect – we aren’t, but it does mean we operate with integrity and take pride in what we do and those we do it for.”

Investment opportunity

Southern Cross Horticulture has two new orchard projects available in the Bay of Plenty and are looking for investors now. Land development will be starting shortly.

Investment criteria:

  • You should identify with SCH’s values.
  • Have the ability to understand horticulture and farming risks.
  • Minimum investment NZ$250,000.
  • You need to qualify as an ‘eligible investor’ under the Financial Markets Conduct Act.

For more information, go to www.schort.co.nz.

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