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T&G Global and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund announced today that they are extending their partnership, with the sale of T&G’s Riwaka orchard in Nelson to the Fund’s rural investment manager FarmRight.

The sale sees T&G sell its 194 hectare Riwaka orchard, which currently has 33 hectares planted in its premium Envy™ apple variety. T&G will continue to run the site until 31 May 2023, at which time FarmRight will take over full operations of the orchard and T&G’s permanent Riwaka team members will join the FarmRight team.

T&G Global Chief Executive, Gareth Edgecombe, says the sale builds upon the strong partnership formed with the NZ Super Fund and will help further fuel T&G’s growth strategy.

“Over the past two years, we’ve developed a strong partnership with the NZ Super Fund, which is built off our shared growth strategies and the opportunity we see for Aotearoa New Zealand’s horticulture sector to generate long-term returns for the benefit of all,” says Gareth.

“In purchasing our Riwaka orchard, the NZ Super Fund plans to further redevelop and invest in the site, including planting additional Envy™ trees. These plantings will contribute to the 200 hectares of new premium Envy™ plantings we have planned for the Nelson region and help us meet growing global demand for the brand. At the same time, the capital raised from the sale will be reinvested into our Envy™ growth strategy, including orcharding, post-harvest and marketing and sales activities.

“Our premium Envy™ brand harnesses unique Kiwi intellectual property to produce a high-quality apple with an exceptional taste. In the 14 years since we first released it to local growers, we’ve developed it into a brand which customers and consumers around the world trust and seek out - and it’s on track to be a billion-dollar brand, with strong performance in key growth markets across Asia and North America.

“With projected consumer demand requiring an additional 600 million apples by 2030 (an additional 8 million tray carton equivalents), we’re re-developing and re-planting our own T&G orchards, and partnering with independent growers, Iwi and investors, including the NZ Super Fund, to increase supply through new plantings. We look forward to continuing to work closely with FarmRight and the NZ Super Fund team in helping build a strong, sustainable and value-creating horticultural sector for Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Gareth.

FarmRight’s Chief Executive, Jim Lee, says its investment plans for Riwaka will further strengthen its footprint in the Nelson region, with the proceeds helping fund the superannuation of Kiwis into the future.

“In the Nelson region, we already have a strong presence in the primary sector, with apple orchards and hops gardens. The acquisition of T&G’s Riwaka orchard provides us with a further significant horticultural asset to invest in and grow. In addition to planting more Envy™ on modern orcharding structures, we will build new purpose-built RSE accommodation and ground infrastructure, with our apple volumes contracted to go through T&G’s Nayland Road facility.

“This is our third partnership with T&G, having previously acquired 80 hectares of orchards in key growing regions in Hawke’s Bay. As with our previous transactions, it is part of our wealth-creation strategy of investing in high-performance agriculture and horticultural assets as part of our long-term portfolio, with the proceeds helping to fund the retirement needs of our fellow New Zealanders,” says Jim.

The transaction was settled on 16 December 2022. Previous orchard sales between T&G and FarmRight were in July 2022 and November 2021.