Tuaropaki Trust enter a joint venture as a 25% shareholder to form Gourmet Mokai. A 5.5 ha state-of-the-art climate controlled glasshouse was built on Tuaropaki land in December 2002. The glasshouse is heated using steam from the Mokai geothermal steam field and capsicums and tomatoes are grown for export using hydroponics – a method of growing individual plants in a soilless medium that is linked to a centralised water and fertilising system.
Gourmet Mokai built an additional 6.2 ha glasshouse based on strong offshore market demand for vegetables and confidence in local growing conditions. The new glasshouse produced its first crop in the 2007-2008 growing year.
Tuaropaki has a 5% shareholding in Gourmet Paprika Ltd – an export focused business specialising in the production and marketing of high quality and value produce to Asia, Australia, USA and Europe.
Production facilities include glasshouses for capsicum at Kumeu, a blueberry farm in Hawke’s Bay and an orchard in Roxburgh. Gourmet Paprika has a packing warehouse and cool store facility close to Auckland Airport at Mangere for distribution purposes.