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Fertile large-scale certified organic property crops up for sale

The 62-hectare site at Bridge Pa near Hastings consists of an L-shaped property producing commercial quantities of blueberries, carrots, onions, potatoes, kumara, and pumpkin

Much of the produce grown and sold through the site is branded under the true earth™ branding label. true earth™ food products are sold to wholesalers, food processing and manufacturing companies, selected supermarkets and speciality stores, with a small portion exported to Australia and Asia.

The Ngatarawa Road property encompasses four fairly rectangular freehold land titles – ranging in size from the 12 hectare title with the house, packhouse, coolstores and various buildings, up to the three bare land titles of between 13 to 18.5 hectares all zoned Rural 1B in the Hawke’s Bay District Council plan. The various fields are accessed by a well-maintained shingle driveway with multiple shingle and earthen tracks running off it.

The location has been producing certified organic vegetables since 1994, and blueberries since 2001, and specifically under the true earth™ brand since 1999.

The inventory of commercial infrastructure buildings on the property includes:

• A 990 square metre steel-framed packhouse on concrete foundations with an adjoining 150 square metre concrete hardstand

• Two commercial cool stores of 77 square metres each built on drained concrete flooring connected to a stormwater sump, and both with humidity compressors and evaporators

• A 256 square metre steel framed implement and packing shed with roller door access

• Two Portacom offices – one of 57 square metres with a timber pergola which is used for administration purposes, and the other a 36 square metre unit with covered verandah laid on steel and concrete foundations, used as an office, staff kitchen and lunchroom

• A 171 square metre woolshed used for shearing and equipment storage

• A luxurious three-bedroom 230 square metre owner’s residence set in park-like landscaped gardens, complete with a recently-remodeled kitchen and a brand-new exterior replastering and paint job and

• Various historic stables, barns and shed previously used when the property was a sheep farm.

Now the freehold land and buildings and true earth™ going concern business located at 302 Ngatarawa Road in Bridge Pa are being marketed for sale by tender through Bayleys Havelock North, with tenders closing at 4pm on July 25.

Salespeople Tony Rasmussen and Tim Wynne-Lewis said there were multiple sales permutations for property – purchasing just the land and buildings, individual titles, or “lock stock and barrel” encompassing all the land, buildings and true earth™ business proprietary assets involved with the location and its activities.

Mr Rasmussen said the true earth™ business currently employed eight full-time staff in crop management, harvesting and administration roles, and up to 50 seasonal staff working in the fields and packhouse during the various harvesting seasons.

“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,” Mr Rasmussen said.

“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 feature 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 1,700 metres of 200 millimetre steel pipe.

Mr Wynne-Lewis said the Bridge Pa property had 5.8 hectares dedicated solely to the production of Rabbit Eye and Highbush variety blueberries – with four hectares of the crop grown under canopy and benefitting from a frost-protection system.

“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,” Mr Wynne-Lewis said.

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