Comvita Limited (CVT:NZX) has agreed to provide improved Manuka cultivars to plant approximately 1,650 hectares of North Island hill country for an investment partnership arranged and managed by MyFarm Investments Limited. Under the arrangement, the Comvita apiary business (Kiwi Bee) will harvest the honey from the plantation for 25 years on commercial terms. It will also receive the value of 20% of the carbon credits that may arise from the Manuka plantation.
This Agreement with MyFarm is our first large scale plantation using third party New Zealand capital to buy and own the land with Kiwi Bee as the apiarist. Comvita’s capital contribution is limited to the costs of planting and establishing the Manuka using Comvita’s high performing Manuka cultivars. This model of using Comvita’s Intellectual Property and third party capital to buy the land, we expect to replicate to the extent of an additional 2,000 hectares or 2.4 million Manuka plants each year for the next few years, provided we can find suitable hill country farms in the ‘right’ locations in order to establish the plantations.