This year’s NZ kiwifruit campaign has been a challenging one due to poor pollination, wind, flooding, hail, and cyclones. Speaking to the New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated chief executive Colin Bond said that the last two years have been “our equivalent to the economic strains experienced by other industries throughout the pandemic.”
In 2022, the country produced 175 million trays of kiwifruit and projected 160 for 2023. However, Bond said that actual numbers will likely be below 140 million. The increased costs for growing and exporting kiwifruit make it particularly painful for growers in low production seasons.
“Growers are putting even more pressure on Zespri to perform in their markets to get the best possible returns with smaller kiwifruit volumes. Despite Zespri reporting that the quality of our kiwifruit going to market is high and the forecast returns looking good so far, NZKGI will continue to track quality closely over the coming months,” said Bond.
With a better outlook for 2024, Bond says they are already working on delivering a “large volume of kiwifruit in great condition to consumers. While we can’t control the weather, we must ensure that we get our processes right to increase our chance of success and relieve growers from their financial burdens.”