Horticulture

Foodstuffs confirms problems meeting demand for potato chips

[15 October/Stuff] Foodstuffs has confirmed that it is having challenges meeting demand for potato chips. This is due to recent wet weather having dealt a blow to crops. Foodstuffs said the shortage would likely last only a few weeks. Potatoes New Zealand Chief Executive Chris Claridge has also confirmed the lack of crisping potatoes. Mr...

‘Wettest year in memory’ behind poor potato crop in Manawatū, Horowhenua

[16 October/ Stuff] A wet year has meant a lower potato crop yield. Some Pak ‘n Save supermarkets warned customers potato chips were in short supply due to a nationwide potato shortage. The shortage was expected to last until the new year. Foodstuffs Spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said the shortage at those stores was due to...

New Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson in for the long haul

[12 October/ New Zealand Herald] New Zespri Chief Executive Dan Mathieson will continue to live in Singapore where he has been living for the past two years, and also maintain a presence at the kiwifruit co-operative’s base in Tauranga. Zespri, experiencing a growth phase, has reported revenues of $2.2 billion, and plans to reach $4.5...

Kiwifruit industry on tenterhooks

[3 October/ NZ Herald] Kiwifruit Claim Chairman, John Cameron said the fungal disease Psa, which damaged the kiwifruit industry in 2010, had not been defeated. Mr Cameron explained that the disease could flare up again as it evolved and became immune to current pest management practices. Te Puke Orchard Owner, Bob Burt said Psa has...

Asparagus grower Geoff Lewis deals with the worst growing year in 36 years

[2 October/Stuff] Horowhenua farmer, Geoff Lewis, said this season had been the hardest year for growing and harvesting asparagus in his 36 years in the industry. Mr Lewis attributes the difficulty to constant rain putting harvesting and packing behind schedule. Mr Lewis added Some parts of the asparagus fields are entirely under water; however the...

New Zespri chief picks up reins

[29 September/ Farmers Weekly] Zespri’s 9-year Chief Executive Lain Jager has been replaced by Dan Mathieson. Mr Mathieson will be based in Tauranga and Singapore to balance the local, supply-focused challenges of growing more fruit in Bay of Plenty and supporting the market growth overseas due to the company’s Singapore marketing hub. Mr Mathieson was...

Zespri chooses head of sales Dan Mathieson as new CEO

 [25 September/ New Zealand] Zespri has appointed Dan Mathieson as its new Chief Executive. Mr Mathieson joined Zespri in 2003 and has worked in multiple roles primarily based in Asia. Mr Mathieson previously served as Zespri Global President of Sales and Marketing before accepting the new position. Chair Peter McBride said Mr Mathieson’s appointment is...

Niwa finds green kiwifruit under threat from climate change in Bay of Plenty growing

[15 September/ NZ Farmer] A study by Niwa has shown that growers of the main green variety of kiwifruit in Bay of Plenty could find that their businesses were no longer commercially viable due to warmer winter temperatures. Kiwifruit required cold temperatures between May and July to produce a large number of flowers which resulted...

Proposal to build on high-class soil opposed

 [7 September/ Otago Daily Times] A plan to subdivide a market garden in Outram near Dunedin has been criticised by opponents who say it will waste productive horticulture land. The land features high-class soil they say needs to be protected. The developer, CC Otago Ltd Director Craig Horne, argued it was no longer economically viable...

Authorities did all they could on PSA risk – MPI lawyer

[5 September/ Radio NZ] The claim by a group of kiwifruit growers is continuing in the Wellington High Court arguing that the Ministry for Primary Industries failed to protect the kiwifruit industry from known biosecurity risks, allowing PSA to enter the country. Jack Hodder QC, in opening the arguments for the defence, said the growers’...

Zespri shareholders to vote for constitutional changes in March

[4 September/ Stuff] Zespri shareholders will vote in March 2018 on proposed changes to the constitution regarding how shares in the company are able to be held. Chairman Peter McBride said the changes would reduce the number of dry shareholders and stop producers becoming significantly over-shared. The recommendations include a maximum of four shares for...

T&G Global expands blueberry operations in Australia in new deal

[1 September/ Stuff] T&G Global is now the exclusive licence holder for 16 high yielding blueberry varieties in Australia. The agreement covers varieties developed by Plant & Food Research in New Zealand and Fall Creek Farm and Nursery in the United States. T&G Global is working with Australian growers to make their first plantings early...

Zespri takes action against grower its says broke rules sending kiwifruit to China

[25 August/Stuff: NZ Farmer] A New Zealand kiwifruit grower who allegedly distributed Zespri’s SunGold and Gold9 varieties to Chinese growers has had their license cancelled and they have been required to cut their vines off. Zespri Chief Operating Officer, Simon Limmer, said that there was the potential for Zespri to take a civil case against...

Seeka first-half profit climbs 56pc on improving Australian operations, wary on full year

[25 August/The Country] Seeka, the largest kiwifruit grower in Australasia, has reported first half profit up 56% on the prior year but expects a smaller crop will see earnings decline in the coming year. Half year profit at $11.1 million was achieved on largely unchanged revenues, but was bolstered by gains from the company’s Australian...

Scales shares down after first-half profit drops 14% after bad weather, reaffirms annual guidance

[24 August/New Zealand Herald] Scales Corporation has announced a net profit of $29 million for the six months to 30 June 2017 compared to $34 million in the prior comparative period. The company reported a 3% increase in revenue. Scales noted that the Hawkes Bay region had experienced than heavier than normal rainfall but the...

Pollard: Still on track for bumper season

[24 August/The Country] Alan Pollard, CEO of New Zealand Apples and Pears (formerly Pipfruit NZ), said the industry is still expecting a bumper season, despite T&G Global announcing a decrease in profit as poor weather impacted the quality, volume and margin of the harvest. Mr Pollard said that the feedback that his organisation is receiving...

Avocado thieves sell stolen fruit on Facebook

[22 August/Radio New Zealand Rural] Store owners are being warned not to accept stolen avocados being sold through social media sites and Facebook. The price of avocados has seen thefts increase in recent times, something that NZ Avocado CEO, Jen Scoular, described as devastating for the growers. Police have warned the thieves that if they...

Urban invaders hurt hort

[22 August/Rural News] Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association, Brent Wilcox, believes land and water and the main issues facing it members. The organisation has seen a consolidation of smaller growers in recent years as they have struggled to justify the cost and risk of expanding their business. With Auckland’s sprawl now reaching Pukekohe, a key vegetable...

Court hears about role of kiwifruit pollen in possible arrival of PSA

[18 August/Stuff: NZ Farmer] The kiwifruit claim has continued in the Wellington High Court with lawyers for the 212 growers and post-harvest operators making the claim against the Ministry for Primary Industries discussing the role that the Kiwi Pollen Company played in the PSA outbreak, they content their imports of pollen are believed to be...

Horticulture NZ calls for food security policy

[9 August/NZ Herald] Horticulture New Zealand is advocating for a food security policy, and has launched an election manifesto outlining five key priorities for the new Government – biosecurity, food security, workforce capability, mandatory country of origin labelling, and healthy eating education. Chief Executive Mike Chapman said challenges to the country’s food supply included urban...

NZ’s nutrient packed superfruit

[11 August/Rural News] New research conducted in New Zealand has highlighted that NZ Avocados have unique nutritional qualities including double the amount of Vitamin B6 and 20% more folate than those grown in other countries. The nutrient packed NZ avocado has seen demand surge for the fruit in New Zealand over recent seasons with the...

NZ’s apple and pear industry goes pip-squeaky clean on labour exploitation

[13 August/Business Day] Recent investigations by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has highlighted that migrant labour is on occasion being paid less than minimum wage. With European supermarkets now having to comply with law like the Modern Slavery Act in the UK and growing customer concern they are increasingly willing to ditch suppliers...

NZ ranks high for fresh consumption

[14 August/Eurofruit] A new survey completed by the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust found that 37% of the 700 respondents consumed five or more portions of fresh fruit and vegetables each day, while 59% consumed at least four different types each day. This compares very favourable to European data which showed less than 15% of...

Kiwifruit PSA ‘ground zero’ at Te Puke

[7 August/NZ Herald] The class action suit by the 212 members of the Kiwifruit Claim against the Ministry for Primary Industries has begun in the High Court at Wellington this week. The growers say the bacteria, Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae cost the industry over than $800 million and officials were negligent in allowing it in....