The Costa Group plans to become the biggest avocado producer in Australia

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for CBD For Life

Costa Group Holdings, a leading horticultural company, today unveiled its latest acquisition on the road to becoming Australia’s biggest grower of avocados.

The ASX-listed company is already big in berries, mushrooms, citrus and glasshouse tomatoes, and a major supplier to food retailers.

Today Costa announced it had an agreement for the acquisition of the Lankester Avocado orchards and packing operations from the Lankester family.

Lankester has three farms in the Atherton region of Far North Queensland with total avocado plantings of 130 hectares with the season running from February through to June.

Another 60 hectares will be planted over the coming 12 months.

A short time ago, Costa shares were down 2% to $4.95.

“This strategic acquisition is another step in executing our strategy to build avocados into our fifth vertically integrated core produce pillar,” says Harry Debney, CEO of the Costa Group.

“Our production and supply period will now span from February to August, bringing us closer to achieving 52 week supply and our ultimate goal to be the number one grower, packer and marketer of avocados.”

The acquisition will bring the company’s total avocado plantings to 500 hectares.

The agreement is in conjunction with Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management which will purchase the farms and enter into a 20-year lease with Costa to operate them.

The acquisition is expected be completed by the end of July 2017. The price has not been disclosed.