MIHI FROM THE CHAIR
He hōnore, he korōria ki te Atua
He maungārongo ki te whenua
He whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa
Tēnā koutou katoa,
Miro is not just about berries. It represents a model, a path forward for our economic rangatiratanga or mana motuhake. When, not if, we succeed with Miro, it opens the doors for us to excel in other economic arenas, other crops, products and businesses. The power is in kotahitanga, working collectively. And I want to acknowledge and thank Steve Saunders for giving Miro its whakapapa, for having the vision and driving relentlessly to make it a reality for Māori. Miro Limited Partnership was established as the investment vehicle for the Miro vision. Every limited partnership is governed by a general partner and Hautupua General Partner Limited governs Miro.
Since establishing Miro formally in June 2017 there has been a mountain of progress to get the ambitious Miro journey underway and I want to thank the Interim Board and management team for their efforts.
As a reminder of where we are heading, the goal for Miro is to plant 500 hectares of berries, create 5,000 jobs, raise $15m+ in capital, generate significant orchard gate returns, and an Internal Rate of Return of 18 - 22% by 2026. We will grow under poly-tunnels, in pots and substrate, in an intensive cropping system that ensures our quality and yield, thus gaining premium market pricing. Owning the value chain means owning the intellectual property around large scale berry production including genetics, growing, processing, packaging, product development, post-harvest logistics, brand and market development.
Our big strategic rocks for the coming year are simple – build orchards, employ our people, grow berries, sell berries! Our values of whanaunatanga, kaitiakitanga, manākitanga and kotahitanga will remain at the forefront of all we do in the year ahead.
Nāku noa nā,
Rukumoana Schaafhausen | Chair, Hautupua GP Ltd (Miro)
Photo: Miro team at the blessing of Maungatapu D4 Miro block near Morrinsville.
Without our team and our people, we would not be able to do the things we have done. Our management team have been relentlessly positive and have tirelessly worked hard to deliver the Miro vision.
It is also my great pleasure to announce the appointment of two independent directors to the Hautupua GP Ltd (Miro Board). Bob Major is an extremely seasoned professional director with an extensive career here and overseas in dairy, food and beverage, horticulture and seafood. Lain Jager is best known as former CEO of Zespri and brings enormous operational experience to the Board. We welcome Bob and Lain and are proud to have attracted such high calibre directors to the Miro kaupapa.
I would also like to thank the Interim Board for their diligent oversight and direction since establishment in June 2017.
Owning the Intellectual Property
A 50:50 joint venture with Plant & Food Research Limited (PFR-Miro Plant Breeding Ltd) was established a to develop and commercialise our own blueberry varieties. Plant & Food have placed all their blueberry breeding programme (excluding varieties that are already under commercial arrangement), into the joint venture and Miro has exclusive global rights to grow plants and market fruit from the results of this programme. There are over twenty selections in the pipeline for immediate assessment. Consider this – Zespri charges around $300,000 per hectare for a licence to grow Sun Gold kiwifruit. That is the power of owning high quality IP.
We were joined by the Hon Willie Jackson, Minister for Employment, when we launched the joint venture earlier this year in March.
Photo: Steve Saunders, Rukumoana Schaafhausen, John Charleton, Dr Riri Ellis,
Our First Orchard and Nursery
We’re really proud of our first Miro orchard and nursery that has been completed on a 3.8 ha lease block near Te Teko. The orchard provides an excellent showcase and nursery for Miro allowing us to test our growing system, the varieties, and employment and training system. Construction got underway in March and we are expecting our first modest harvest in later this month. Congratulations to our orchard team who worked tirelessly through winter to get the orchard up and running.
Partnering with Purpose - Miro Mahi
A programme we’re really proud of is ‘Miro Mahi’ - the partnership with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) to create jobs and training for our people. We have been able to test this programme on the Te Teko orchard and are thrilled to have appointed eleven MSD- referred local workers throughout the orchard development phase, with three staff joining full-time and committing to advanced horticultural training. The programme aims to support 40 workers on to our orchards with pre-employment through to advanced training, and up to 12 months wage subsidy per person. The opportunity for our investor-growers is to identify 1-2 people in your hapu or community that are keen to develop a career path in horticulture on your orchards. We have been thrilled with the quality of MSD recruits in the Te Teko region.
NZ Field-day and Grower Tour, Australia
Our Miro-BerryCo Field-day held at Te Puna in June was well attended with more than 150 people in attendance, all eager to ramp up their berry expertise. Then in August 2018 over 25 Miro investor-growers participated in the grower tour to Mountain Blue Orchards (MBO) in Australia followed by market, retail and supply chain visits in Brisbane.
Orchard Development Programme
We have bold plans to plant 150ha in the next three years. This will be a combination of investor-grower orchards, Miro orchards and lease blocks. Should we be successful with the Provincial Growth Fund, this will open up huge opportunities for investors to grow bigger, better, faster. We expect a decision on this fund by November. We currently have site development planning underway with nine sites. Keep an eye out for future updates.
DID YOU KNOW | I mohio ranei koe?
Did you know…we’ve secured almost $2m in government partnerships?
Ministry for Social Development - $1.3m to support the first 40 orchard staff
Callaghan Innovation - $320,000 to create the data platform behind the growing system
NZTE - $100,000 for feasibility funding – market research, legal and financial advice
MBIE Māori Innovation Fund - $60,000 for technical advisors to Miro
Ministry of Primary Industries - $30,000 for water assessment and planning advisory
Plant & Food Research - $50,000 for market research
The most exciting government partnership we are pursuing however is with Hon Shane Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund. We have an ambitious application to this fund which will:
Create a multi-million loan facility for Miro investors who have land, but limited capital to develop Miro orchards on their land; and
Invest up to $10m in the growth of Miro and the berry industry including R&D, technical support for growers, product development, plant breeding, market research, packaging and supply chain development.
Did you know…we’ve launched our new website!
Our new website has just been launched www.miroberries.com We have a part time communications resource to assist with panui, events, PR and social media so send in your photos and stories as your orchards develop or post them straight to our Miro Facebook page.
Send in your News
We have a part-time communications resource to assist with pānui, events, PR and social media, so please send in your photos and stories as your orchards develop, or post them straight to our Miro Facebook page.