Latest News

Hail Media Release
10 November 2014


Seeka works to help growers hit by Tauranga hail storms 

TAURANGA, 10 November  — Seeka Kiwifruit Industries Ltd (NZX:SEK) is working to help a group of its growers who have suffered significant damage across both kiwifruit and avocado blocks as a result of two hail storms that hit Tauranga last week.

Chief executive Michael Franks said that growers and orchard owners would have Seeka’s full support throughout the remediation process.

“We understand that growers are vulnerable to extreme weather events and will be making all the necessary resources available to help them through this,” he said.

Overall the damage seemed less severe than was initially feared and represented only a small percentage of Seeka’s expected supply for the coming harvest season, said Mr Franks. It would take some time before the total losses in terms of trays could be estimated and a small number of growers had incurred significant damage. 

The major impact of the hail was in a catchment in the Mangatawa/Welcome Bay Road/Kairua Road region and it had mostly affected Seeka growers. NZX-listed Seeka is New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit grower, with both leased and managed orchards, and is also a significant post-harvest operator for its own and its supplying growers’ fruit.

“We’ve been working with the growers and getting technical and husbandry information to support them,” said Simon Wells, general manager, grower services. “We’re coordinating the notification through to Zespri for insurance purposes and will meet with insurance assessors and growers today.”

Seeka was also advising growers on how to mitigate any possible Psa-V risk for damaged crops, he said.

About 35 hectares of orchards that supply Seeka have suffered significant damage, with another 50-to-75 hectares that were less affected. The majority of the damage was in kiwifruit orchards.

Growers who are assessed at losing 10 per cent or more of their crop would be entitled to recover the damages from insurance, said Mr Wells.

“However, there are a number of growers with damages of less than 10 per cent who could experience significant losses to their fruit canopy.”

For further information contact:

Michael Franks ­­‑ 021-356-516

Simon Wells  -    027-277-5250 

Seeka Key