11 Mar 2010

Kiwifruit growers get improved payout

10:31 pm on 11 March 2010

Bay of Plenty kiwifruit and avocado co-operative Satara says strong cost control and disciplined spending has has allowed it to increase returns to grower shareholders for the 2009 season.

They will receive a rebate of 20 cents a tray for class one fruit - a 75% increase on the previous year - and a dividend of 2 cents a share.

Satara chief executive Wes Anderson-Smith says despite losses from hail damage for green kiwifruit, the company managed a 50% improvement on prices from the previous year.

With low volumes of fruit loss for the gold variety, it was able to push the returns well above the industry average.

Mr Anderson-Smith says avocado volumes also doubled over the season which enabled Satara to significantly increase its overall market share.

He says the company managed to end the season with $4 million less debt.