[8 April/The Country]

The kiwifruit industry needed to find 14,329 more workers in the next 12 years as the sector continued to boom. Zespri Head of Grower Relations, Dave Courtney, said the industry was on track to more than double sales by 2025. Zespri had employed more staff and now export to nearly 60 countries. Priority One Projects Manager, Annie Hill noted that the kiwifruit story was arguably the biggest success story for economic development in the region. She added that the challenge would be filling the jobs required to support the sector growth. New Zealand Kiwifruit Inc Chief Executive, Nikki Johnson, said industry growth required significant capital investment and stakeholders needed to take into account that kiwifruit was a primary industry and had been shown to be susceptible to disruption suck as Psa and the weather, This year’s New Zealand crop is expected to be about 70,000 tonnes higher than last year.