Horticulture

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...

Land and tree stakes in short supply as Hawke’s Bay plants one million apple trees

[26 June/The Country] Hawke’s Bay growers are innovating to help deal with the demand for land and a shortage of tree stakes. About a million trees were expected to be planted across Hawkes Bay every year for the next five years. T&G Pipfruit General Manager, Bruce Beaton, said the trees were planted on the new...

Free trade deal with Europe could deliver a $30m windfall for kiwifruit exports

[21 June/Stuff] According to Zespri CEO, Dan Mathieson, a free trade deal with the European Union could offer a $30 million benefit to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. The current tariff into Europe could be removed under the proposed free trade agreement. Mr Mathieson said Korea was a good example of where tariff relief had...

Mexico sets sights on New Zealand avocado exports, economist says prices could drop

[20 June/NZ Herald] AVOCO is a partnership between New Zealand’s biggest avocado exporters, Southern Produce and Primor Produce. It said Mexico had set its sights on New Zealand and Australia as possible export destinations. It said it would be difficult for other growing nations to gain market access due to strict phytosanitary measures. AVOCO’s Marketing...

Holy guacamole! Avocado price sets new records

[13 June/NZ Herald] According to Statistics NZ, avocado prices rose 37 percent in May to record levels. Prices for other fruits and vegetables such as mandarins and broccoli fell. The price of avocados this year was up 50 percent from May 2017. The latest price movement reflected both higher prices and smaller fruit. Statistics NZ...

Zespri red kiwifruit about two years away from commercial introduction

[14 June/NZ Herald] Zespri said the world was waiting for a good red kiwifruit, and that they hoped to deliver this in a few years. Chief Executive, Dan Mathieson, said Fieldays visitors could sample the fruit, but it would take time before its commercial introduction so the fruit would be viable from orchard right through...

Plant growers face losses after MPI seizes valuable plants

[7 June/Stuff] Owners whose fruit trees were seized by the Ministry for Primary Industries may not be insured against losses or entitled to claim compensation if the trees are destroyed. A United States nursery was found to have exported 55,000 trees to New Zealand in 2013, but did not follow correct procedures. It seized the...

Overseas Investment Office rejects Craigmore application to buy orchard

[1 June/Stuff] Craigmore Permanent Crop Limited Partnership Chief Executive, Che Charteris, said its application had been caught up in Government changes to foreign land ownership in light of its rebuff from the Overseas Investment Office to its application to buy a kiwifruit and avocado orchard. He added every government had the right to set new...

Western Bay of Plenty kiwifruit industry rejoices at much-needed cold snap

[29 May/The Country] Temperatures in the Western Bay of Plenty have fallen which is good news for the kiwifruit industry. NIWA’s principal Scientist for Forecasting, Chris Brandolino, said the coldest days were yet to come and warmer temperatures would return this weekend. MetService meteorologist, April Clark, added a southerly flow was traveling up the country...

Zespri reports strong year despite lower volumes

[23 May/Radio NZ] Zespri reported an earnings increase for the 2017-18 season despite kiwifruit volume falling 11 percent. Production volumes suffered from the cloudy summer.  Zespri Chairman, Peter McBride, said the increased value of kiwifruit sales reflected strong consumer demand and good market performance. He added they sold a record volume of SunGold while growing...

Horticulture industry scores another record breaking year

[16 May/Rural News] The New Zealand horticulture industry had a record breaking year in 2017 with exports reaching $5.12 billion. The industry value was up $100 million from last year at $8.8 billion. According to Plant and Food Research horticulture produce accounted for 10.3 percent of New Zealand’s export income. The growth was primarily driven...

Tasman seasonal labour shortest in years – growers

[10 May/Radio NZ] Tasman fruit growers said more needed to be done to deal with severe horticultural labour shortages. Two big storms dented both the regions reputation as a nice place to visit, and also the accommodation needed for harvest workers. Lower Moutere grower, Ian Palmer, said it had been the hardest season for finding...

Scales to sell cold storage unit to US-based Emergent Cold

[9 May/NZ Herald] Scales Corp will sell its cold storage businesses to US cold chain company, Emergent Cold. The deal will be for $151.4 million. Scales Corp Chairman, Tim Goodacre, said the Group’s strengths were operating fully-vertically integrated agriculture businesses, participating in businesses with an export focus and adding value through connection to the China...

Lid is off Whakatu’s new $30m ‘black box’ apple juice drink factory

[8 May/The Country] A new $30 million drinks factory in Whakatu was opened and hosts newly formed apple producer, The Apple Press. The company was founded by local apple grower and businessman, Ross Beaton. The plant employs 27 people and can produce thousands of bottles of juice per hour. Mr Beaton likened it as the...

Four vie for HortNZ Board

[2 May/Rural News] The Horticulture New Zealand Board elections opened with four candidates competing for two positions. Horticulture New Zealand President, Julian Raine, said they had not had such strong contest for some time and the calibre of candidates indicated how well horticulture was doing. Mike Smith offered himself for re-election, and the new candidates...

Chinese authorities intercept 120 trays of fake Zespri product at fruit market

[3 May/Stuff] Chinese government officials intercepted 120 trays of fake Zespri kiwifruit being sold in a fruit market. Zespri Mainland China General Manager, Holly Brown, said Zespri worked with Chinese government officials to identify and prosecute where possible. Ms Brown said Zespri sold $500 million of kiwifruit in mainland China last season and China was...

Ministry declares 1200-person kiwifruit labour shortage in Bay of Plenty

[8 May/The Country] For the first time in over a decade, a seasonal labour shortage was announced in the Bay of Plenty. The Ministry of Social Development said the region needed 1,200 additional workers to pick and pack kiwifruit. Zespri did not expect the labour situation to have any material impact on the season or...

Seeka buys T&G assets

[30 April/Farmers Weekly] T&G will sell its kiwifruit orchards, packhouse facilities and assets to Seeka. The deal is worth about $40 million. Seeka recently sold out its shares in Zespri Group after opposing constitutional changes that tied shareholdings to trays of fruit produced. T&G will still have access to fruit grown by Seeka for its...