New Multi-Million Dollar T&G Orchard

A new apple orchard worth about $18m has been planted in Napier.

The orchard was planted within the last 12 months and will be known as Willowbank Orchard when operational.

It is a partnership between T&G Global and investment company MyFarm.

The orchard will grow T&G's Envy apples across 40ha of planted land.

MyFarm is encouraging people to invest in the company to help raise $15m, with the overall project estimated to cost $18m to $20m. That includes buying the land off T&G and setting up the orchard.

MyFarm CEO Andrew Watters said the company had a portfolio of six orchards across Hawke's Bay and were excited to partner with T&G for the first time.

Watters said that while shipping issues had impacted apple exports this year, he did not expect it to be a problem for Willowbank Orchard as it will not be producing large volumes of fruit for up to five years.

He believed export issues would be a short-to-medium term issue and did not think it was a poor time to plant an orchard.

In the future, Watters said the orchard was estimated to produce four million tonnes of apples a year in the future.

T&G will handle the operational side of the business, including growing, selling and shipping the fruit.

Gareth Edgecombe, T&G Global's chief executive, said the investment brings together a number of factors for success, such as Envy's intellectual property, best practice and end-to-end fresh fruit supply chain management.

T&G is contributing $3m to the project and will have a 19 percent stake in the business, subject to MyFarm successfully raising the remainder.