NZ: Zespri to stem gold kiwifruit growth
The publication Bay of Plenty Times reported Zespri COO Simon Limmer said the entity had issued about 4,900 hectares of gold license at present, and all but about 100 hectares of that was Zespri SunGold (Gold3).
"Currently, we consider we have sufficient Gold3 planted to reach our target of 60 million trays of gold by 2019, which is up from around 30 million trays in 2015," Limmer was quoted as saying.
The representaitve explained there were no plans for releasing any more licenses until the organization had a better understanding of the long-term market potential of the SunGold variety.
"We will continue to assess its overall demand and our product mix, particularly in light of significant Zespri Green production this year combined with the growth in SunGold volumes," he was quoted as saying.
Limmer also said any Zespri growers who wanted to buy a gold licence should advertise in local publications and speak to their post-harvest facilities, as growers can trade licences between themselves. He added that all licence transfers must be approved by Zespri.
According to Bay of Plenty Times, there were 12,180 producing hectares of Zespri kiwifruit this year nationally, with 9,846 in the Bay of Plenty. That second figure is a significant increase from 6,7676 last year, and can be explained by recently-grafted SunGold vines coming into production.
New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers president Neil Treblico expected more plantings as the industry recovered from the devastating vine disease Psa, but believed it would take three to five years before those vines came into production.
No licences are needed to grow green kiwifruit.
Last month, a Statistics NZ report said the annual value of New Zealand's fruit exports reached an all-time high of $2 billion in the year ended June 2015, marking a 20% year-on-year increase.