Family-run firm CTM Harpley Engineering Ltd has just marked a “first” in its 65-year history with the export of new beet cleaner loader to New Zealand.
And it has already received an order for a second used machine to be shipped out in the near future. The firm is now setting up an agent in Timaru, on the South Island.
Director of sales Nigel Mountain, explained: “Beet growing in New Zealand is for fodder and over there they are already growing it across 20,000 hectares, which is a considerable amount of stock feed. With the beet harvested and cleaned, it’s a healthier way to feed the animals and it’s also enables farmers to have more control over how much they feed.
“In the next year, they are looking to be growing around 50,000 hectares of beet, so it is rapidly becoming a major crop over there. In the UK we grow just over 100,000 hectares which is for sugar.
“At the moment in New Zealand, they are reasonably new to growing sugar beet, and have not got the experience of dealing with the crop, so they are looking to buy new and used machines to handle it.
“We would like to think that as an engineering business, New Zealand will offer more opportunities for us, especially since here in the UK British Sugar is cutting back on the percentage of sugar beet grown due to a world surplus of sugar.
“Sending machines to New Zealand will be helping us to continue with steady growth.”
In the past the firm, established by Nigel’s grandfather, Charles Thomas Mountain in 1950, has already successfully exported to Spain, Sweden, Russia Denmark and Germany. Recently it also sent 13 machines to China.
Last week, CTM Harpley Engineering, exhibited at LAMMA at Peterborough, which is recognised as the UK’s premier farm machinery and equipment show. Nigel said: “It was very worthwhile and there was a good reception for all our products and we received several inquiries.”
The family firm includes Nigel’s brother, Adrian, who deals with services, and their cousins, also brothers, Andrew, who is involved with engineering and design, and James, who deals with fabrication.