The Hawke's Bay apple company renowned for its miniature Rockit apples has unveiled plans for a new state-of-the-art headquarters and post-harvest facility.
Rockit Global Ltd. (RGL) has had exponential growth in the highly competitive snack sector with the miniature apples, which are now sold in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, the US and in New Zealand.
The company has purchased land in the Irongate Industrial Park, in Longlands, Hastings, and aims to open the new 21,000m2 facility in advance of the 2021 apple harvest.
Rockit Global CEO Austin Mortimer said the purpose-built coolstore, packhouse and global headquarters was a monumental milestone for Rockit Global, who have outgrown their current Havelock North premises.
"This project signifies the growth of the apple industry in Hawke's Bay, and signals the coming of age of Rockit and a reflection of our confidence and belief in our product and brand," he said.
He said the company had carried out "an exhaustive search and analysis of potential spaces and spatial requirements" last year before deciding on the Irongate opportunity.
"One of the many benefits of Irongate is the proximity to three of our existing orchards. It also gives us scope for further expansion as we continue to grow, and the site is flexible, so we are able to use the space efficiently for packing and cool storage," said Mortimer.
Earlier this year, the company launched a new, kraft cardboard pack for its snack-sized apples.
The 100 percent biodegradable and recyclable cardboard is a more environmentally conscious packaging option, is sourced from sustainably managed forests and is PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) approved.
The company had been mindful of the environment in planning the new build.
"We will be dealing with the treatment and discharge of all our own waste water, the refrigeration plant will have a zero global warming impact and we're looking into the use and placement of solar panels as a sustainable source of electricity."
Staff are expected to begin moving into the new premises at the end of 2020, in preparation for the following harvest.