Horticulture

Tauranga’s Maori berry company Miro could rival kiwifruit’s Zespri

[15 September/NZ Herald] A Maori owned berry company in Tauranga believes it could be as successful as Zespri. Miro plans to become an export success story by putting tunnel houses on underutilised Maori land nationwide, creating over 5,000 jobs and put $500 million into the economy. Business Development Manager, Liz Te Amo, said it had...

Taxpayer costs for kiwifruit claim trial balloon out to $6m

[17 September/Stuff] Taxpayers had spent $6 million on defending the kiwifruit claim case. It was the most expensive primary sector court case on record. Growers had claimed the Ministry for Primary Industries were negligent in allowing the Psa disease into the country in 2010 and are claiming more than $450 million in compensation. MPI wanted...

Volume pushes Scales profit up

[29 August/Farmers Weekly] Higher apple volumes and prices increased profits for Scales Corporation. It was waiting for confirmation of its sale of its Polarcold business. All its divisions traded strongly, but Mr Apple subsidiary accounted for around 75 percent of its earnings. An improved growing season meant fruit volumes were much higher. Scales Corp Managing...

Record Mr Apple performance boosts Scales Corp

[29 August/NZ Herald] Mr Apple saw its exports rise 69,480 tonnes which helped its parent company, Scales Corporation, achieve a half year profit of $34.8 million. Scales Corporation Managing Director, Andy Borland, said exports from its Mr Apple business grew 9 percent. He added export demand was strong, particularly in Asia. He noted the return...

New apricot co-operative sets up for business

[22 August/Rural Life] A new grower cooperative is being set up to manage the release, marketing and licencing of new apricot varieties. There were three new varieties that were yet to be given brand names. One of the directors, Nigel Hinton, said Summerfruit New Zealand’s Apricot Co interim board was a sub-committee of the organisation...

Scales Corp sells Timaru liquid storage business

[23 August/The Country] Scales Corporation Limited has announced that it is selling its Timaru bulk storage business, Liqueo, to SBT Group. Scale’s Managing Director, Andy Borland, said Liqueo enjoyed strong growth with a long term storage contract set to run for another 18 years. He added the operation was sub-scale in the context of the...

Plant & Food Research study backs use of biopesticides

[23 August/The Country] Consumer demand for residue-free produce is on the rise. University of Auckland Researcher, Madeleine Trusewich, said New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry would benefit from fast tracking its shift towards biopesticides. Through her internship with Plant & Food Research, she determined shifting sooner was a big opportunity for New Zealand. Zespri was working with...

Pukekohe grower: ‘We’re really the last frontier’

[15 August/Radio NZ] Increased lettuce prices are possible according to the horticulture industry. A report predicted fresh fruit and vegetables could increase by 50 percent due to Auckland’s booming population and housing demands. It warned of increased produce costs, job losses, and a $1.1 billion impact on the economy. Hira Bhana and Co Grower, Bharat...

Kiwifruit claimants cross-appeal after High Court Psa decision

[7 August/NZ Herald] A cross-appeal has been filed by the Kiwifruit Claim over the decision that found the Ministry for Primary Industries was negligent by letting Psa into New Zealand. Kiwifruit Claim Chairman, John Cameron, wanted the Government to accept the decision. He added growers were left with no choice but to cross-appeal after the...

Strong returns for Ravensdown

[7 August/Farmers Weekly] Ravensdown has reported strong earnings but believed its work helping farmers to reduce their environmental impact was as important. It said good progress was being made to ensure the most efficient application protocols are in place between its environmental consultants and nutrient management advisers and farmers. Its Chairman, John Henderson, said it...

Summerfruit readies funding case

[1 August/Rural Life] Summerfruit New Zealand Chief Executive, Marie Dawkins, said it had nearly completed its business case proposal for a Primary Growth Partnership that will encourage innovation, add value and enhance the industry. She added it was a major strategy for the industry. It sent its initial application several months ago and the panel...

Critical seasonal labour shortage may hinder kiwifruit industry growth – report

[3 August/The Country] A report by New Zealand Kiwifruit Gowers Inc says a critical shortage of seasonal workers could limit the kiwifruit industry’s growth over the next ten years. The report showed the industry would require 7,000 seasonal workers if it was to double in size as predicted. At the start of the 2018 season,...

Three people arrested after avocado heists

[3 August/The Country] Three people were arrested due to avocados being stolen from orchards in the Bay of Plenty. Police alleged that one was the organised receiver who purchased the fruit from the two who stole it. A 63 year old was due to appear in court later this month. Two others from Tauranga would...

Kiwifruit growers group silent as members delay constitutional changes

[30 July/NBR] New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers’ Incorporated would not comment on its annual general meeting which was held up after growers halted constitutional changes. It tried to implement new powers for its executive committee which included giving delegated authority for decision-making.  Growers were concerned it would mean the committee would have the power to negotiate...

Zespri chairman takes top award but coy on Fonterra directorship

[26 July/Stuff] Zespri Chairman, Peter McBride, received the industry’s Bledisloe Cup. It is horticulture’s premier award. His involvement with the kiwifruit industry spanned almost 40 years. He said it was a great honour to be recognised and humbling. He remained coy about suggestions he has put his name forward to stand as a Fonterra director....

Horticulture employers must clean up their act to address its worker shortage

[26 July/Stuff] Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, said the horticulture industry needed to identify and fix its bad employers if it wanted to attract workers. In 2016 there was a labour shortfall of 6,000 workers, and he was confident that would be a larger figure this year. A seasonal labour shortage was declared...

Ministry for Primary Industries to appeal Psa decision favouring kiwifruit growers

[24 July/NZ Herald] The Ministry for Primary Industries is appealing the decision in favour of growers over the introduction of the Psa bacterial disease to New Zealand. The appeal seeks to clarify the scope for government regulators to be sued in negligence. The MPI said the court’s findings traversed events from 12 years ago which...

Orchard sales part of expansion

[23 July/Farmers Weekly] An expansion by Seeka into Northland was already paying off. It purchased the orchard and post-harvest operations of T&G Global in April. Seeka Chief Executive, Michael Franks, said since purchasing the orchard, it had signed up a further 340,000 trays of kiwifruit supply from independent growers. The orchard land and various other...

Price of avocados down slightly after hitting record high

[17 July/Stuff] The price of avocados dropped for the first time this year, from their record of $25 per kilogram. Avocado prices tended to fall around June each year. An avocado production shortage inflated the prices to around $25.30 per kilogram earlier this year. The increased price led to one restaurant taking guacamole of its...

Blueberry prices are jaw-dropping but growers are perplexed to see them on shelves at all

[15 July/Stuff] The price of a punnet of blueberries has been reported as being $16 for a 125 gram punnet. The punnets were coming from New Zealand Gourmet’s Hastings blueberry farm. Blueberry orchardist, Gordon Gibbons, said harvesting at this time of year was unheard of and that the harvesting season was mid-December through to mid-March....

Country of origin proposal scaled back

[16 July/Stuff] A pared-back version of the proposed new country of origin law was released two weeks before the deadline for public submissions.  The new rules address mandatory country of origin labelling. The select committee considering the bill recommended limiting labelling rules to some fresh and frozen goods. They said the bill should only cover...

Growers claim win in Psa case

[2 July/Farmers Weekly] A High Court decision has upheld claims made by a group of kiwifruit growers’ that Crown negligence caused losses as a result of the Psa outbreak.  The decision could leave the Government exposed to a large compensation bill; growers that joined the claim have sought over $400 million in compensation. The ruling...

Fruit, vege growers set to vote on commodity levy

[20 June/Rural Life] Horticulture growers are being consulted about their support for the continuation of a levy to fund Horticulture New Zealand and its work. If more than 50 percent of growers vote in favour, an application would be made to the Ministry for Primary Industries for a new Commodity Levy Order. There would be...

Why iwi teamed up to buy three kiwifruit orchards

[28 June/NBR] Three North Island iwi based entities put their money together to keep three Te Puke orchards in New Zealand ownership. Te Arawa, Rotoma No 1 Incorporation and Ngati Awa acquired the Matai Pacific kiwifruit portfolio which was marketed at more than $65 million. Rotoma No 1 Chief Executive, Neville King, said the trajectory...