As New Zealand’s kiwi harvest gets underway amidst forecasts of a bumper crop, the country’s sector is now concerned about how markets will be found for the fruit given the current trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus. New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI) project there will be 155 million trays of green and golden kiwi this season – up 5.5% on last year’s crop. Zespri estimates it will produce more SunGold than green this season, which will be accompanied by a growing supply of red kiwi.
Much of the fruit is exported to countries in Asia currently affected by the Coronavirus. In addition to the trade issues, there is currently a seasonal labour shortage (20,000 workers will be needed during the season) and a lack of rain which might still affect the later crops. The first fruit tends to be the gold variety, with the harvest season ending in June.