Leading farm nutrient supplier Ballance Agri-Nutrients has acquired a site in Whangarei to establish its new bagging and distribution centre. The premises at 223 Kioreroa Road are used currently as a round-the-clock transport hub for a logistics company but will be converted over the next two years into a fully-enclosed, fully-ventilated facility to service Northland’s burgeoning agricultural sector, particularly the fast-evolving horticulture industry.
The new site will not be used to make any product ingredients. It will be a place where ingredients are mixed and bagged, and then collected by customers and members of its distribution network.
The company said in January this year that it would be investing in Northland over the next four years to improve services to local farmers and growers. The four-stage upgrade includes the closure of the Port Road factory and the opening of two new distribution centres, the one in Kioreroa Road and the other at a yet-to-be identified site in Marsden Point.
Mark Adams, Ballance’s Northland project lead, said the two-site strategy would boost customer service and accessibility, while new, precision semi-automated bagging technology would enhance product quality and reliability of supply.
Ballance will use the Kioreroa Road site for product bagging and distribution to customers with good access to Whangarei. The Marsden Point site will become the central distribution hub for Northland, a bulk storage and transitional facility for product coming directly from Northport, and a customer service centre.
223 Kioreroa Road was previously owned by Argosy Property Limited. The existing infrastructure will be extended to accommodate Ballance’s operation and the company aims to complete this work by late 2021 or early 2022.
“We anticipate that it will become a 7am to 5pm, five days a week operation, stretching to include Saturday mornings during our peak seasons in Spring and Autumn,” Mr Adams said. “Traffic and noise levels will be reduced from what they are now, and the operation will be enclosed completely to ensure minimal dust levels.”
Operations will continue at the Port Road site until Balance commissions the new Kioreroa Road facility.