NZ kiwifruit growers record growth in returns
In the face of challenges such as vine-killing disease Psa and currency issues, New Zealand's kiwifruit growers have managed to increase returns by 4% this year to NZ$883.3 million (US$741.8 million) this year.
In a release, kiwifruit company Zespri said the average Orchard Gate Returns for growers of its green variety is now NZ$4.21 (US$3.53) per tray, which represents around NZ$32,324 (US$27,076) per hectare.
But despite the 'satisfactory' gains in returns, Zespri chairman John Loughlin said the company's profit fell 71.8% during the year to NZ$7.3 million (US$6.12 million).
"The fall was primarily due to contributing (NZ)$12.9 million (US$10.8 million) to the response to Psa in New Zealand, and increasing the loyalty payment to growers from (NZ)15 cents (US$0.13) per tray to (NZ)25 cents (US$0.21) per tray," the release said.
Loughlin said the global economic environment in 2011/12 was not going to be any more favourable for the industry.
"The united structure of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry is again going to be the cornerstone of supporting returns to growers this season in such uncertain times," he said.
Zespri CEO Lain Jager said the company had dramatically prioritized resources to deal with the impact of Psa.
"We have dramatically re-prioritised resources and directed them into a significant global Psa research and development programme," he said.
"We are confident that a long-term viable solution will be found to Psa in the next two to four years.
"Once the solution is found, Zespri needs to be in the position to rebound quickly, because there remains huge opportunity for the industry to meet its long-term goal of growing exports to (NZ)$3 billion (US$2.5 billion) by around 2025."
Earlier this week Zespri sent a release concerning the result of its court case with Turners & Growers, but a Turners representative told www.freshfruitportal.com the High Court of New Zealand had not yet officially released its judgment.