With nearly 19million Class 1 trays of kiwifruit harvested for the 2012 season, grower owned post-harvest kiwifruit supplier EastPack is set to pay growers 20 cents per tray cash rebate on June 30.
The rebate is part of EastPack’s 20/20 special grower offer, which saw packing costs for this year reduced by 20 cents per tray plus a 20 cent per tray cash rebate and no reject rate penalty for Class 2 rejects.
EastPack Green and New Variety Grower Paul Rouse with EastPack Grower Services Rep Jacki McCormack.
For EastPack’s Green, G3 and G9 Growers this change saw the average packing charge drop to $1.35/tray – combined with the additional 20 cent packing rebate it further reduced EastPack growers’ net average packing charge to $1.15/tray.
Based on the low packing charges, EastPack’s more than 400 growers will receive more cash in their pockets which will help with winter pruning costs, grafting and new variety costs and will also enable them to do the things they enjoy, says EastPack Chief Executive Tony Hawken.
EastPack has announced it will again offer growers the same 20 cents per tray reduction for the 2013 packing season – so long as packaging prices and specifications do not increase.
EastPack is focused on maximising growers’ financial returns and supporting growers every step of the way, says Tony.
“At the end of the day, we know it’s all about results for our growers and delivering the highest possible Orchard Gate Return (OGR) to them. EastPack is in a strong financial position.
“We’ve made significant gains in our efficiencies and operational savings through our Growing Excellence LEAN manufacturing process and as a grower owned company we’re able to pass those savings directly on to our growers.”
EastPack Green and New Variety grower Paul Rouse says EastPack’s lower packing charges meant he received more money after submit this season.
“This has helped with the orchard cash flow.
“EastPack is also very helpful and knowledgeable when it comes to on orchard advice, especially new varieties and grafting options. EastPack’s knowledge and extra money go a long way these days.”
EastPack delivered a $17.7 million profit (before tax, interest and rebates) for the year ending December 31, 2011 – up 44 per cent on the previous year.
EastPack expects to pack 19 million Class 1 trays this season - three million trays more than the company had initially budgeted for at the beginning of the season.
“Though the 19 million trays is down from last year’s record 21 million Class 1 trays it is still a very creditable statistic, especially when we take in to account EastPack’s high proportion of Gold which has been exposed to Psa,” says Tony.
He says the higher than estimated crop volume is a combination of an increase in EastPack growers – 55 new growers have chosen to pack with EastPack this season, an additional half a million trays of the three new ZESPRI varieties, and productivity gains on orchard.
“This first season with the two new Gold varieties (G3 and G9) and one new Green variety (G14) was met with both challenges and great learning opportunities.
“However, we are pleased with the result. Growers have commented that the early seasons of packing and storing Hort16A were far more challenging than these new varieties, but still the Gold fruit developed into a hugely successful category – Psa aside.”