Horticulture

Red kiwifruit about to arrive on supermarket shelves – briefly

[14 March/Stuff NZ] Zespri is about to release 30,000 trays of the Zespri Red variety, grown on New Zealand orchards.  The red variety will be sold during a limited release in the next five weeks and is selling for around $7 per kg. The red fruit has a sweet taste similar to the SunGold variety...

As labour shortage bites, app aims to hook growers up with workers

[13 March/Stuff NZ] Genevieve Griffin-George, a Tasman Entrepreneur and Founder of PICMI, a cloud-based software, is helping horticulturalists find workers in the current shortage. PICMI has been designed to simplify the employment process for agricultural seasonal staff and was developed last year as part of the Xcelerate programme. The idea was born from personal experience...

NZ farmers could grow coffee, pineapples as the planet warms

[07 March/Stuff NZ] New Zealand’s tropical fruit are becoming more popular to grow. New Zealand eat 18kg per capita or around $140 million worth of bananas a year. Hugh Rose, head of Tropical Fruit Growers of NZ has a 40ha property on Northland’s east coast, growing a variety of tropical fruits including bananas, pineapples, dragon...

Jen Scoular: Spotlight on quality avocado

[07 March/The Country] New Zealand avocado exports faced significant quality issues after November, especially within the Australian market. Given avocados require fast post-harvest movements, harvest timing is crucial due to Avocado’s not being stored in coolstores. New Zealand’s growing season is cooler and wetter than that of its competitors, therefore avocados stay on the tree...

Meeting for Hastings locals interested in picking fruit during labour shortage draws a crowd of zero

[04 March/Stuff] Zero locals showed up for a meeting in Flaxmere based on gathering fruit picking workers. The meeting was held by the Hastings District Council who paired up with New Zealand Apples & Pears and the Ministry of Social Development to give information after a seasonal labour shortage was announced in February of around...

Flu strikes Hawke’s Bay pickers

[03 March/The Country] Two overseas workers in the fruit picking community have been hospitalised in Hawke’s Bay due to H1N1 influenza outbreak. A Hawke’s Bay DHB spokeswoman said there were 71 cases of people showing symptoms of the flu. Richard Bubby, Managing Director of Thornhill Horticultural Contracting confirmed that 31 workers had been off work...

Wool shoe company Allbirds expands into China, eyes three stores by end of the year

[01 March/The Country] Allbirds, an New Zealand founded woollen shoe company, is expanding into China with an expected three physical stores in the market by the end of the year. Allbirds already has stores in London, San Francisco and New York, and will open its first store in Shanghai in April and further plans to...

T&G lifts revenue but profit challenged by weather and tariff issues

[27 February/The Country] T&G Global lifted full year revenue 11.2 percent to $1.2 billion, but weather and Chinese tariff-related challenges saw its net profit plunge 63 percent to $8.3 million. The international produce division experienced adverse weather impacts on cherry season in Australia and the quality of its grape harvest in Peru. However, operating profit...

Wide interest in Waikato River Authority’s $100m investment plan

[27 February/Stuff] The Waikato River Authority’s (WRA) $100 million investment plan into organics has received a positive response from investors since its launch in November. The plan aims to secure the capital to buy 12-18 dairy farms within the Waipa catchment and convert the land into low impact organic dairy operations. This would allow the...

The highs and lows of running an organic orchard

[22 February/Radio New Zealand] Catriona White, recipient of New Zealand’s top sustainable farming award, states she would like to see more kiwifruit orchardists employ their staff full-time. Mrs White, who along with her husband Mark White were the first horticulturalists to win the Gordon Stephenson trophy, which gets awarded to one of the 11 regional...

Could NZ go bananas for tropical crops?

[18 February /The Country] Tropical fruit are becoming more popular to grow in New Zealand. New Zealanders eat 18kg per capita or around $140 million worth of bananas a year. Hugh Rose, head of Tropical Fruit Growers of NZ has a 40ha property on Northland’s east coast and grows a variety of tropical fruits including...

Govt declares Hawke’s Bay seasonal worker shortage

[15 February /Radio NZ] The government has announced a seasonal labour shortage in Hawke’s Bay, one of the country’s primary apple growing regions. This declaration allows people on visitor visas to apply for a variation of conditions which will allow them to work on orchards and vineyards in the region and will apply for a...

New Zealand apple industry under threat from climate change

[7 February/Stuff] Climate change will threaten New Zealand’s ability to grow apples which has prompted scientists to start developing new hot climate varieties. The qualities that make New Zealand apples like Jazz and Envy successful on the world stage are a result of the country’s temperate climate, and require cold nights and warm days. Fruit...

Marlborough maintains its title as home of NZ garlic

[28 January/Rural News] Despite losing growing space to vineyards, Marlborough still maintains the title of New Zealand’s garlic king, producing about 70% of the country’s total crop. John Murphy, chief executive of Marlborough Garlic says the region can’t compete against the US and China in volume, but it can excel in quality, pointing to the...

Central Otago cherry season par for course

[28 January/The Country] As the growing season for cherries in Central Otago draws to a close growers remain happy with their numbers. Summerfruit New Zealand market data as of January 20 indicated more than 1.4 million kg of export cherry sales this year to date, which is considerably down from previous years. The 2017-18 season...

Apple crop risks going unpicked

[17 January/Rural News] Long term allocation of recognised seasonal worker (RSE) numbers is required to ensure the industry can plan ahead, reported Gary Jones of NZ Apples and Pears. The industry is looking at a 30,000 tonne increase in the crop in Hawkes Bay and Nelson, requiring about 500 more workers. Realistically the region requires...

‘Shocking’ strawberry season as wet December plays havoc for North Island growers

[30 December/Stuff] Heavy rain and humid weather has played havoc on North Island strawberry growers leaving shortages and quality issues around Christmas, the busiest time of the year for strawberries.  Waikato grower Gary McMahon described the season as shocking and listed wet weather and humidity as the biggest challenges. The wet weather throughout December meant...

Growers will be able to cherry pick their price after unseasonable deluge of rain across New Zealand

[16 December/Stuff] The rain during the late spring and early summer period has caused stone fruit crops to split and rot, meaning there is lower supply at New Zealand’s fruit stalls and supermarkets in the run up to Christmas. Marlborough cherry growers suffered their wettest season in a decade. Cherrybank Orchard, just south of Blenheim,...

Man arrested for human trafficking, slavery after targeting ‘vulnerable’ workers

[17 December/Radio NZ] A 64-year-old Samoan man with New Zealand residency has been arrested for human trafficking and slavery after allegedly bringing Samoan nationals to New Zealand to work for him illegally. It is alleged that the man has been regularly bringing Samoan nationals to work for him in the horticultural industry in Hawke’s Bay...

Mushroom farm draws dozens of complaints for smell

[8 December/Rural Life] A mushroom farm in Hawke’s Bay has received 48 additional complaints since it was originally fined in August for its objectionable odour. As part of Te Mata Mushrooms’ resource consent, odours are not allowed to leave the boundaries of its Havelock North property. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council said it had not however...

Potato virus here to stay

[4 December/Rural News] Potatoes New Zealand Chief Executive, Chris Claridge, said the decision to keep the potato mop top virus (PMTV) in New Zealand may be in the best interests the industry in the long term. He said technical experts have indicated that they don’t believe it is technically feasible to eradicate the PMTV, but...

New housing is eating our lunch: report finds NZ set to struggle to grow enough fruit and vegetables

[28 November/NZ Herald] A report produced by Rachel McClung of Horticulture New Zealand as part of her Kellogg Rural Leadership programme, suggests that vertical farming, where food is grown indoors in stacks in a technology-controlled environment, is unlikely to replace traditional growing. Ms McClung said that spread of urban development into areas with prime soils,...

Zespri eyes North America for kiwifruit orchards as Sungold sales take off

[2 December/NZ Herald] Global kiwifruit marketer, Zespri, is looking at opportunities to grow kiwifruit in North America as consumer demand there soars for its Sungold variety. Chief Executive, Dan Mathieson, said Sungold sales jumped 32 per cent this year with 4.7 million trays sold compared to 3.3 million last year, while the sales of green...

More workers welcomed, but vacancies remain

[23 November/Rural News] The kiwifruit industry will welcome more Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers for next season, as part of the government granting the horticulture industry approval to recruit 1,750 more short term workers from the Pacific Islands (increasing the total to 12,850 nationally). New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc (NZKGI) CEO, Nikki Johnson, said the...