Aussie early mango farm up for sale
Owners Tom and Regina Harbrow have decided to sell the 95.82ha Pine Creek Mango plantation for personal reasons, valuing the land, buildings, equipment, trees and irrigation infrastructure at AUD$5.35 million (US$5.5 million).
"Three years ago we got the farm back from a five year lease, generally in very poor condition, and this presented us with a dilemma as it was also overcapitalized and underperforming, and to make it profitable required an enormous amount of work and capital," says Tom.
"Fortunately we were able to muster both, and AUD$1.5 million (US$1.54 million) and three years later the volume has increased from 19,600 to 50,100 trays and quality is second to none.
"The bonus for a younger or corporate buyer is that the amount of trees has been doubled guaranteeing an increase in production within about six years to 100,000 trays that are seriously being pursued by both big chains."
He says the property has registered as a direct supplier to supermarket chain Woolworths for next season, and has secured a manager as part of a long-term agreement.
"If a client wants to secure a bigger investment portfolio in the industry we have three other properties that together are worth in the order of AUD$20 million (US$20.65 million) and provide a 10-week production period.
"The owners of these properties all have the same problem as us - age."
The property is estimated to have a total operating and owning cost of AUD$40.76 (US$42) per hour. Its profitability was AUD$600,000 (US$619,000) in 2010, while Harbrow expects the property will yield an annual profit of AUD$1.35 million (US$1.39 million) in 2017.
The United States Deparment of Agriculture (USDA) proposed importing Australian fresh mangoes in October and was seeking responses to a detailed report analyzing pest risks.
Australia expects to export around 1,000 metric tons (MT) to the U.S., which is a similar volume to its other large markets in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Photo: Australian Mangoes