Investors have filled MyFarm's first avocado orchard investment four days after the opportunity was released.
Aupōuri Avocados Limited Partnership is an investment in two properties totalling 32ha on the Aupōuri Peninsula in the Far North. MyFarm raised $5.8million from 32 investors to purchase the properties.
The Far North region has experienced significant avocado investment in the past two years as investors recognise its unique soil profiles and sub-tropical climate can provide ideal growing conditions for a crop experiencing a boom in export demand.
In contrast to the country's other main growing region, the Bay of Plenty, Northland crops tend to have a less severe biennial cropping pattern. Export volumes fluctuate due to the biennial effect, and the 2016-2017 crop exceeded expectations and totalled $157 million, making it the country's fifth most valuable horticultural export group, with the domestic market worth $43 million.
New Zealanders' love affair with the green grenade shaped fruit has only got stronger, with sales double what they were only five years ago.
Growth of sales into China is also expected to strengthen in coming years, with the first crop sent there this season. New Zealand is only the fourth country in the world to be granted export rights to China for avocados and the industry is targeting the growing category of health-conscious middle to upper income earners.
MyFarm has also forged a strong relationship with fruit exporter Freshmax to operate the orchards, pack and market the fruit into new and existing markets. Freshmax operates a vertically integrated fresh produce business and has one of the largest fresh produce marketing and distribution operations in the Pacific region.
The avocado offer followed the oversubscription of MyFarm's first large scale hop syndicate in the Motueka district, raising $18.49 million for the development of what will be the country's largest single hop garden, comprising 116ha.
MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters says interest in both offers exceeded expectations, and MyFarm is now assessing other investment opportunities of equal appeal.