[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 immediately requested a comprehensive, detailed business case. They had been working on the Sensational Summerfruit strategy, which would cost about $16.7 million. The plan predicted industry growth to nearly $500 million by 2035. She noted they hoped to have it ready by 1 September. The five key points included opening new markets (including online sales), better understanding consumer requirements, developing improved packaging and transport to deliver fresher fruit faster, encouraging the adoption of new technology and innovation, and the development of more high performance orchards with higher volumes, new varieties and new production systems.