Summerfruit readies funding case

Marie Dawkins.
Marie Dawkins.
Summerfruit New Zealand has nearly completed its business case proposal for the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP), which if successful, will encourage innovation, add value and enhance the industry, chief executive Marie Dawkins says.

''It is a major strategy for the industry,'' Ms Dawkins said.

SFNZ had sent its initial application for a five-strand industry proposal to the PGP - a government funding programme - several months ago, and the panel immediately requested a more comprehensive and detailed business case.

Since then, SFNZ staff and consultants have been working on the ''Sensational Summerfruit'' strategy, which was expected to cost about $16.7million, of which about 60% would come from industry and 40% from the Government.

The plan predicted industry growth to nearly $500million by 2035, four times higher than now.

''We have to put all the details including the costs, outcomes and benefits, and they require a high level of information and background details,'' she said.

''We are hoping to have it ready by September 1.''

The five key points covered opening new markets, including online sales, better understanding consumer requirements, developing improved packaging and transport to deliver fresher fruit faster, encouraging the adoption of new technology and innovation, and the development of more high performance orchards with higher volumes, new varieties and new production systems.

She said the goal was to give consumers an even better product.

''We want to move the industry forward to meet modern challenges.''

-By Yvonne O'Hara

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