Why no uproar?


Could someone please explain to me why the thought of selling a relatively few hectares of farmland to foreigners upsets so many people but there’s no uproar at the news that a German company has OIO approval to buy Turners and Growers?

Germany’s BayWa Atiengesellschaft has secured Overseas Investment Office approval for its takeover of local fruit marketer Turners & Growers, and has declared its offer unconditional.

The German company, which has global investments across the building, energy and agriculture sectors, has bought some 72.5 percent of T&G shares at a cost of about $157 million and will close its offer today, it said in a statement.

“The takeover is a ground-breaking step towards internationalisation of BayWa,” the company said.

Group chief executive Klaus Josef Lutz will take T&G’s chair, and the company will appoint chief financial officer Andreas Helber, board member responsible for agriculture and fruit Josef Krapf, and head of fruit Dietmar Bahler to the board.

Why does the possible sale of land exercise the xenophobes when the sale of a company which owns Enza, New Zealand’s largest apple exporter and one of the country’s signature brands does not?

Owners of farms can’t take the land away but owners of this company could take the produce, the brand and of course the profits.

I’m not opposed to sale of either land or the company but I really don’t understand why people who oppose foreign ownership of farms aren’t just as upset by the sale of companies.

Apple envy


The feature which is set to make ENZA’s  new apple variety a star was a lucky accident.

The new variety survives for many hours longer than other apples without turning brown when cut.

The super-apple is called “Envy” – and that’s likely to be the reaction from growers around the world.

Envy is proving extremely popular on the international market for a unique reason – cut or bite it open and it will take between four and eight hours before it turns brown.

“It’s just a combination of the acid sugar level,” says Brian D’Ath of ENZA. “The balance must be exactly right ‘cos you know, to stop apples browning you put lemon juice on it.”

Envy is a cross-pollination between Braeburn and Royal Gala – developed to be sweet and crisp. The fact that it doesn’t brown quickly wasn’t planned, just an added bonus.

 Envy is one of the seven deadly sins and orchardists from other countries will be guilty of that because Envy’s ability to withstand discolouration when cut will be a virtue they’ll wish their apples had too.

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