Green was a particular standout, with the latest forecast showing green per tray prices at NZ$9, compared to last season’s final orchard gate return of NZ$5.78 per tray. Forecast SunGold kiwifruit returns were at NZ$12.35, well above last season’s final OGR of NZ$9.97, and forecast returns for organic SunGold were also up at NZ$14.15.
Zespri said that the November forecast returns were up across all categories on the August forecast, mainly due to improved fruit quality this season. Chief executive Dan Mathieson said the results reflected the ”strong and growing demand” for Zespri kiwifruit, as well as the huge effort the industry had put into improving fruit quality this year.
“It’s particularly great following such a tough couple of years when growers have been under so much pressure while dealing with the likes of ongoing cost increases, the labour shortage, regulatory changes and the changing climate. We’ve received positive feedback from our customers throughout the season on the improvement in fruit quality – our efforts have been really appreciated by them – and they also keep telling us how they want even more of our Zespri Kiwifruit next season,” he said.
“Our job on quality isn’t done yet though and we now have a huge focus on next season – we need to maintain this focus as we look to 2024 when we are expecting to have a much larger crop and likely our biggest year on year growth in volume,” he said.