Zespri abuzz as kiwifruit harvest begins
In a media release, Zespri supply chain general manager Sally Gardiner says the predicted amount is similar to what was exported last year.
"Growing conditions have been fantastic, with more rainfall and higher temperatures on average compared to last season and we are expecting a great crop as a result," she says.
"With the start of the season there is always a real buzz in the industry as the hard work done through the growing season starts to deliver, as all those working in the industry prepare themselves for the very busy months ahead and the anticipation builds in our offshore markets for the arrival of new season fruit.
"We are confident that there will again be strong demand for ZESPRI’s premium kiwifruit in overseas markets despite ongoing global economic uncertainty and the still-to-be-determined impact on demand in our key market of Japan from the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami."
She says the first shipments of the fruit will likely be sent next week and will arrive in overseas markets mid-April, but domestically the issue of vine-killing disease PSA is still a concern.
"We also face the challenge of PSA, and as an industry we are working together as a cohesive and focused team, alongside Government, to address it.
"While monitoring and hygiene practices throughout the industry have changed as a result of Psa, the number of orchards impacted still represents less than 2% of the industry and customers will not see any impact on sales volumes in our overseas markets this year."
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