New Zealand’s largest kiwifruit exporter into the Australian market says there is positive news despite the latest industry forecast completed earlier this month pegging green volumes 25-30% lower year-on-year.
NutriKiwi said current monitoring indicated fruit would have high dry matter, and added sizing was also looking good with an average 32 count expected.
The company’s general manager Michael Leach said there are two main reasons for this year’s crop reduction.
“New Zealand kiwifruit vines have produced very high yields for the past two years, so the commonly accepted view is that they’re having a ‘rest year’,” he said.
“Secondly, we’ve had a warm winter plus severe winds across the Bay of Plenty throughout November, December and early January which has created challenging growing conditions.
“These two factors have combined to deliver less green kiwifruit overall. But the quality of that fruit will be excellent for retailers and consumers alike who are discovering all the benefits this highly nutritious fruit has to offer.”
NutriKiwi expects to begin shipping green kiwifruit to Australia from May through until November.
“We have the ability to export more green kiwifruit into Australia than anyone else and we’re committed to offering the very best value and service to our Australian wholesale and retail customers,” he said.
New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (NZKGI) chief executive Nikki Johnson said in early January that it looked as though volumes of the SunGold variety would not be affected in the same was as Hayward.
“The green crop has been affected more than the gold crop, so SunGold is sitting quite steady really, but SunGold is coming into full production so that’s a changing scenario anyway,” she said.
“The growers need to focus now on working with the fruit crop that they have, and I guess in some cases it’ll mean less thinning as they don’t have as much fruit set.
“It’s about managing their crop to the best advantage they have which is obviously the combination of taste and size to get the best return for themselves.”
Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O’Neil said there was generally a lower prevalence of vine disease Psa in the spring of 2016 compared to previous years, which he said this was surprising given what had until then been a very wet spring.