Plus Group

The Plus Group of Companies offers a range of uniquely integrated horticultural solutions both domestically and internationally. Its core passion is the long-term sustainability of horticulture delivered to our valued clients through service excellence, experience and innovation.

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GroPlus

GroPlus provides a world class kiwifruit orchard management service that maximises grower returns and delivers to our customers’ service excellence, product superiority and innovation.

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Pollen Plus

Pollen Plus is one of the world's largest suppliers of high quality Male Kiwifruit Pollen and artificial pollination services and solutions. Our products are available internationally and New Zealand wide.

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BioSoil

BioSoil & Crop specialises in sampling and analysing soil and tissues of perennial crop plants and making nutrient recommendations based on these results.

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Approach

Our approach sets us apart.

We go beyond ‘full service,’ start with commercial validation and work back to technical feasibility. There is little point creating
a technical solution that is not suitable or is too expensive to be commercially viable.

We start with the end-user to understand the complete problem and their requirements for complete current and any proposed future systems. These are not just technical requirements, but practical elements that can make the difference towards end-user experience and suitability. After working with the end-users to understand their complete requirements, technical validation is carried out across the entire system. Estimated production costs are normally considered and used to assess commercial payback and viability. Once suitable business models are developed the technical elements begin, commencing with Research and Development, to commercialisation and into production phases.

Horticulture

The practice of plant growth for human advantage has been recorded for 8000 years. Use of mechanical systems has made horticulture progressively more amenable and productive as humankind moved from digging stick, to mattock, to plough, to steam tractor and combine harvester.

The time spent by horticultural labourers (an average 70-hour workweek) has decreased to forty or fifty hours. Mechanical aids have also eased the heavy manual labour requirement.

However, the labourer’s work remains repetitive and physically demanding and is yet to experience the full advantages of significant mechanisations. Development of autonomous mechanised solutions is the next technological progression for horticulture. This thesis outlines development of an autonomous harvesting solution for kiwifruit, delivering solutions to the complex task of harvesting fruit on-orchard.

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