Juice company Simply Squeezed has launched a $4 million investment strategy that will see it double the amount of New Zealand oranges it squeezes over the next five years.
Chief executive Adrian Barr said the strategy was two-fold – sourcing more oranges under contract in New Zealand, and investing in greater processing facilities at its Bayview operation in Hawke’s Bay.
The expansion includes a new fruit processing line, which will double capacity to manage increased fruit supply and ongoing demand for juice.
• Just over half an orange is juice and pulp
• Ten good size oranges make a litre of juice
• Valencia is the main orange variety used for juicing
“We take every New Zealand juicing orange we can and we process about 7000 tonnes of fruit made up of both citrus and apples a year.
“By 2016 Simply Squeezed expects to grow fruit processing to more than 10,000 tonnes as the size of the New Zealand Orange crop increases with new plantings that have started over the past several years.
“We have a strong relationship with our growers who are also investing in their citrus industry by planting more trees and it’s these new plantings which gives us the confidence to continue to invest in processing buildings and equipment’ said Mr Barr.
One of the challenges with citrus crops is the bi-annual production with trees producing the main crop every second year.
“We take in oranges throughout the year but the main season is from December to June. Fruit surplus to immediate demand is still squeezed and the juice frozen for production during the year, so the additional space will enable us to manage the greater New Zealand orange crop.
The company employs 100 staff, with 80 based in Hawke’s Bay. It has 43 franchises across New Zealand and 22 grower suppliers.