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Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China

Fanfare greets launch of Dazzle apples in China © Dazzle

© Dazzle

 

New Zealand’s newest apple variety Dazzle has arrived in China with large celebrations at wholesale markets as importers and retailers race to get a taste. It’s the first year that there have been large volumes of Dazzle apples available for Chinese customers and they weren’t wasting any time to get their hands on the delicious, red, sweet apple from New Zealand.

Joy Wing Mau’s International Buyer Li Bin was involved in the launches at Guangzhou and Shanghai wholesale markets and says it is very exciting to have access to larger volumes of Dazzle Apples for Chinese consumers this year. “We are so happy and very excited to introduce Dazzle apples. Dazzle is a variety which we know has been specifically developed for the Asia market, with its sweet, crunchy and delicious taste, as well as good storability. There is a strong brand and it’s great to be part of a successful launch which will help us promote Dazzle to Chinese consumers. We value our strong relationship with New Zealand apple growers and suppliers,” said Bin.

© Dazzle

 

The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Trade Commissioner, Pete Frost presented at the celebrations and cut the ribbon, officially launching Dazzle apples to the China market, saying New Zealand’s apple industry is rated the best in the world. “New Zealand apple growers are agile and innovative. They use world-leading science and technology to deliver to ever-changing customer demands. The New Zealand horticulture industry is investing in new varieties, which are earning premium prices in the global marketplace,” said Frost.

Dazzle Apples were developed over 20 years by Plant and Food Research – a New Zealand Government Crown Research Institute. They are exclusively available from a selected group of exporters and are set to be one of the most popular and largest volume apples coming from New Zealand.

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Kiwis grow increasingly fond of persimmon

New Zealanders grow increasingly fond of persimmon © PxHere

© PxHere

 

New Zealanders are developing a taste for persimmons, a fruit previously mainly destined for export, especially Japan, reports Asiafruit. Ian Turk, manager of the New Zealand Persimmon Industry Council, said: “We’re excited to have seen an increase of 20 per cent in just two years in the New Zealand market.”

Around 12,500 tons of New Zealand-grown persimmons are exported each year. Estimated to be worth NZ$10m, exports will reach Australia, South-East Asia, Japan, the US and China in 2021.

“We’ve had an excellent season this year and are recovering well from the impact of a tough 2020 season,” said Turk. “The combined issues of a Covid-19 lockdown two weeks before harvest, lengthy drought conditions and air freight costs that quadrupled due to the pandemic meant some significant challenges. We’re heading into the 2021 season with greater confidence – not quite back to normal, but nearly there.”

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20% higher sales of Zespri’s New Zealand kiwis forecast in Europe

20% higher sales of Zespri’s New Zealand kiwis forecast in Europe © Zespri

© Zespri

 

Zespri expects a record season for sales of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit, the first batches of which landed in Europe at the Port of Zeebrugge, Netherlands, on 18th April. The 7,000-pallet consignment of SunGold is aboard MV Cool Eagle, a new specialised reefer vessel built by Cool Carriers and the largest vessel to carry Zespri kiwifruit to date, reports Eurofruit. The first green kiwi should arrive in May.

Giorgio Comino, Zespri’s executive officer Europe and North America, said MV Cool Eagle is the first of five planned charter reefer vessels to Northern Europe under Zespri’s shipping programme this season. “There’s been good pollination and rainfall after pollination this season, which has helped with fruit sizing and it’s looking like another great-tasting crop. This season we’re expecting to supply nearly 20% more Zespri SunGold kiwifruit to Europe, reflecting the continued growth in demand for the variety, and around the same level of green as last season.”

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Strong year of growth ahead for Rockit Global

Strong year of growth ahead for Rockit Global
Photo: Mark O´Donnell, Chief Executive Officer of Rockit Global

Rockit Global Limited, the progressive New Zealand fruit company marketing miniature Rockit™ apples worldwide, says it’s looking at a bumper season, producing apples of outstanding quality, flavour and colour. Chief Executive Officer Mark O’Donnell says the company expects 2021 sales to topple all previous records, as Rockit continues its steep global growth trajectory. “We’ve enjoyed very good growing conditions this year which, combined with significant improvements on our orchards, has set us up for what looks like a very successful season,” he says. “We’re up 65% on 2020 volume and the quality is excellent – great flavour and sweetness, with dry matter content and brix very close to what we saw last season. Add to that the fact that Rockit demand has always exceeded supply, and we think it’s safe to assume 2021 will be our biggest season yet.” Despite the significant challenges wrought by Covid-19, O’Donnell says Rockit™ sales have been exceptional, feeding consumer demand for food safety and secure supply chain management. “All our markets are growing rapidly,” he says. “Greater China, Vietnam and South East Asia generally remain our priority export territories, with the Middle East also in growth.”Rockit apples are now grown in 10 countries globally, O’Donnell points out, enabling uninterrupted supply to key markets. Mid-year, Rockit will open its state of the art global headquarters, packhouse and coolstore in Hastings, New Zealand. “It’s a huge investment, but one that will help us improve efficiencies through leading digital innovation and AI, and manage environmental impacts.”

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New Zealand’s apple exports shrink

New Zealand’s apple exports shrink
Photo: Mr. Apple

New Zealand’s apple sector forecasts a 14% drop in the volume of apples exported in 2021 compared to 2020. Industry association New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc (NZAPI) projected export will reach just over 347,700 tons. Some of the causes in the fall are a shortage of available labour, significant hail damage in the Nelson and Central Otago regions, and small calibres.

New Zealand Apples and Pears CEO Alan Pollard said: “Labour availability on orchard and in our post-harvest operations is well short of numbers needed by the industry despite doing all we can to attract New Zealanders into work. In addition, the fruit size is coming in smaller on average than we forecast.”

Of the varieties exported, Braeburn is the most significantly affected. The revised estimate of 1.5 million cartons is 44% lower than the 2020 level. Royal Gala, New Zealand’s leading export variety, is forecast to be 15% down on 2020, Cripps Pink (marketed as Pink Lady) will be 15% down, and Fuji will be 19% down. In better news, protected club varieties such as Dazzle, Envy, Honeycrisp and Rockit continue to show strong growth as new plantings come into production.

 

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Zespri accused of intimidating behaviour toward Kiwifruit NZ to secure China deal

Zespri accused of intimidating behaviour toward Kiwifruit NZ to secure China deal
Photo by Robertson from Stuff.co.nz

Zespri has been accused of attempting to pressurise industry regulator Kiwifruit NZ into “rubber-stamping” a contentious business deal in China, according to Stuff.co.nz. The accusation relates to a phone call described as “threatening” by Kiwifruit NZ’s chairperson, Kristy McDonald, following a rejection of Zespri’s proposed three-year trial at buying and branding 1.95 million trays of counterfeit SunGold kiwifruit grown in China on vines stolen from the company. 

In her reply, McDonald wrote: “Your comments that this is urgent, must be approved by Christmas and that we should not (you said ”must not”) use external expert advisers is remarkable. KNZ has not even considered the proposed activity yet you are most certainly getting well ahead of yourself in trying to control the outcome of a process that is not yours to control and has not even started. We will work as expeditiously as we can. What we will not do is bow to threats, bullying and intimidation.”

Asked for comment, Zespri Chairman Bruce Cameron said, “The letter was written following a discussion in November about the process we were going through as we sought regulatory approval to allow us to act on the plantings. I reject the way the conversation has been characterised but acknowledge the concerns raised by the Chair of KNZ. Zespri respects the critical role the regulator KNZ plays in the industry.”

Zespri has announced that it will reformulate its proposal and apply once again for approval.

 

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Shortage of lemons in New Zealand

Shortage of lemons in New Zealand
Photo: twistedcitrus.co.nz

New Zealand’s retail sector is currently facing low availability of lemons, leading to soaring prices where the fruit is still in fact on sale. Logistical problems related to Covid-19 have slowed down imports and led to shortages across the country. January tends to see low domestic production, with most of New Zealand’s lemons coming from the US at this time of the year.

 

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Giving everyone a Fairgrow: helping to get fresh fruit and veges to Kiwis in need

Giving everyone a Fairgrow: helping to get fresh fruit and veges to Kiwis in need
Press release & photo by: T&G Fresh – Andrew Keaney

New Zealand’s leading fresh produce company, T&G Fresh, has today launched a new charity, Fairgrow, which will help get fresh fruit and vegetables to Kiwis in need.

“COVID-19 has turned many people’s lives upside down and right now large numbers of Kiwis are finding it difficult to provide healthy and nutritious food to their families – and this need is outstripping what’s currently being donated. As a country of nutritious fresh food producers, we want to provide people with a fair go and make the most of Aotearoa’s produce”, says Andrew Keaney, Managing Director T&G Fresh

“That’s where Fairgrow can help. We will capture and aggregate surplus and donated fruit and vegetables from across our 1,200 grower partners, as well as from our own business, thereby building a community of growers and partners who have a bit or a bunch to spare.”

National levels of food insecurity have risen sharply in recent months as many New Zealand families are facing increased financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. On the other hand, it’s estimated $872 million worth of food is wasted annually – representing 122,500 tonnes sent to landfill.

“We know addressing food insecurity will require everyone, including business, Government and community groups, to work together and take collaborative action.

Press release & photo by: 

“Fairgrow will help with this by also raising funds to buy produce when it’s not in abundance or readily available, thereby providing Kiwis in need with greater availability throughout the year. Furthermore, at various times of the year, some produce might be left in the ground or on trees as it may not have a natural commercial home. Fairgrow will make financial contributions towards helping harvest and donate some of these crops.”

As a foundational partner of the New Zealand Food Network (NZFN), Fairgrow will use its extensive grower network and national fresh produce supply chain to help connect the supply of fresh produce with national demand from NZFN’s network of food rescue organisations, iwi and charities.

“Using our existing infrastructure like our trucks, nationwide distribution network and cool stores, we’ll efficiently aggregate donated produce from across the country, and work with our partners at NZFN, so they can get it out to communities who need it the most.”

Peter Aarts, from Sundale Farms, who grows broccoli and potatoes in Pukekawa, South Auckland is proud to supply produce to Fairgrow. “As third generation growers, we take immense pride in growing healthy vegetables. The last thing we want to see is any of this food go to waste. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to support Fairgrow with regular donations of broccoli, that way we can help address this critical issue in New Zealand.”

In July 2020, T&G Fresh became a foundational partner of the New Zealand Food Network, which is a centralised hub, collecting and safely storing bulk donated food from producers and suppliers, and distributing it across the country to food rescues, iwi and charities.

The launch was celebrated today at an event hosted at T&G Fresh in Mount Wellington. Further information about Fairgrow can be found here https://fairgrow.org.nz/.

 

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Zespri ships 600,000 tons of New Zealand kiwis to world in 2020

Zespri ships 600,000 tons of New Zealand kiwis to world in 2020
Photo: Zespri New Zealand

New Zealand’s kiwi season draws to a close, with Zespri announcing increased exports from last season. The ciountry’s record harvest, which also commenced earlier than usual, allowed 600,000 tons of Zespri SunGold, Green and Red kiwifruit to be exported from New Zeland to over 50 countries around the world. As the Southern Hemisphere campaign ends, Zespri’s production focus now shifts to Italy, France, South Korea and Japan.

 

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New investments in New Zealand’s cherry sector

New investments in New Zealand’s cherry sector

 

New Zealand’s cherry industry has demonstrated strong long-term growth, driven by the country’s ideal climate and proximity to Asia. Now Deep Creek Fruits NZ is investing in two cherry orchard projects (Mt. Pisa and Lindis River) in Central Otago. Both projects are to be managed by leading New Zealand horticultural consultant Hortinvest. 

Speaking to GlobalAg Investing, Sharon Kirk, director of Deep Creek Fruits and marketing and sales manager of Hortinvest, said that Summerfruit NZ predicts a 40% dollar value growth in New Zealand cherry exports over the next 20 years. “New Zealand’s cherry industry has demonstrated strong long-term growth, driven by our key competitive advantages such as the ideal climate and conditions, proximity to, and free trade agreements with markets in Asia. New Zealand’s reputation for producing premium quality cherries, perceived globally as a luxury product, enables it to receive the highest price per to in global markets,” said Kirk. “As a Southern Hemisphere cherry producer, the New Zealand industry is not competing with produce from the Northern Hemisphere.”

The global fresh cherry market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2017 and 2022 to reach a value of US$5.2 billion, according to research conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR).

Photo: Summerfruit NZ