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T&G Global to sell Kerikeri kiwifruit orchards, packhouse facilities and Zespri assets to Seeka


Seeka is to make a significant investment by taking over large parts of T&G’s Kerikeri operations. The firm will take ownership of T&G’s 80 hectares of kiwifruit orchards in the Kerikeri area on 30th June 2018. Moreover, on 30th April 2018, Seeka will pay approximately NZ$40 million to purchase T&G’s packing and storage facilities and a further NZ$2 million to buy out all of T&G’s shares in Zespri. T&G is to retain ownership of the Hayward, ENZAGold, ENZARed and Zespri trademarks. The agreement also sets out that T&G will have access to fruit grown by Seeka to supply its global and domestic customers. While Seeka is to rename T&G’s facilities Seeka Kerikeri, all existing staff will be retained.

Seeka aims to consolidate itself in a region which shows great potential for both avocados and kiwifruit and plans to establish it as a post-harvest hub. Meanwhile T&G intends to focus more on its core categories of citrus and berries.

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Sales of New Zealand kiwi hit 430,000 tons

121market kiwi1

New Zealand’s statutory kiwi exporter Zespri has reported sales of over 430,000 tons of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit in 2017. In addition to this total, 14 million trays of Zespri kiwifruit were grown overseas. Sales for the current year are expected to surpass NZ$2 billion, with good prospects for further growth in 2018/19 on the back of strong sales in Japan and China – Zespri’s two largest markets. Indeed, the group has seen sales in Japan rise by 30% over the past four years. Elsewhere, across the rest of Asia, Europe and North America, supply was not sufficient to meet demand last year.

The kiwi industry employs about 18,000 workers in New Zealand and the sector owns about 13,500 hectares of production area. Kiwifruit represents the country’s fastest-growing horticultural export and the Ministry, with exports set to reach NZ$1.8 billion in 2019.

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New Zealand’s kiwi exports up 4.5%

KIWI italy INTRO Jingolold Campi

New Zealand’s horticultural exports are forecast to grow by 4.2% in 2018 with the continued expansion of the country’s kiwifruit production area and generally favourable weather conditions for pipfruit and wine production. New varieties are forecast to be an important driver of growth in the coming years. Such varieties, including gold kiwifruit and jazz and envy apples, have contributed greatly to the success of the sector. An increase in apple and pear production is expected in 2018, due to favourable growing conditions and young trees maturing. Avocados are now being shipped to China after years of negotiations regarding access conditions. China is the world’s fifth largest importer of avocados with rapid growth in the past five years. Kiwifruit exports are forecast to increase 4.5% to NZ$1.8 billion for the year ending June 2018. Production is set to expand with increased plantings of gold varieties expected over the next few years.

The picture isn’t entirely rosy however as there is a shortage of skilled labour across the industry. Moreover, apple and pear exporters will need to continue developing new varieties and expand into higher-paying markets in order to ensure continued export growth in future years.


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Organic Posy apples make Chinese debut

Organic Possy

Chinese e.commerce platform Fruit Day is set to supply the Posy, an organic apple imported from New Zealand, introduced the Posy, a new organic apple grown in New Zealand. This year will be the first opportunity for Chinese consumers to taste the Posy, an apple with over 14 degrees brix.  The Posy is pink and bright red and has a fine, delicate skin, a sweet, juicy and crisp pulp and a subtle peach fragrance.

Posy apples are produced by New Zealand’s largest organic apple farmer, Bostock, in Hawke’s Bay, a region ideally suited to apple production with its abundant sunlight and warm temperatures. Bostock has over 470ha of certified organic land and contributes 90% of New Zealand’s organic apple exports. Its production is the only one in New Zealand with fair trade certification.


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Oppy reports strong growth in sales of Envy™ apple

Envy currently ranks fifth in volume, behind the well-established Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, JAZZ™, and Ambrosia, which is remarkable given it has been commercially available for just four years, said Oppy’s executive category director for apples and pears David Nelley.

Sales of the Envy™ apple nearly doubled in volume between 2014 and 2015, reports Canada’s Oppenheimer Group (Oppy).

And Envy’s dollar contribution rose by over 120%, growing faster than all other premium apples in both measures, according to FreshLook data.

Vancouver-based Oppy, a leading fresh produce sales, marketing and distribution company, said Envy demonstrated the strongest growth in pounds and also the strongest growth in retail sales of 11 premium apples in 2015 compared to 2014.

The apple currently ranks fifth in volume, behind the well-established Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, JAZZ™, and Ambrosia, which is remarkable given it has been commercially available for just four years, said Oppy’s executive category director for apples and pears David Nelley.

“We’re proud of that achievement, but not surprised, given that one super premium retailer in California told us Envy has been the biggest item in terms of gross sales in the entire store for certain periods,” Nelley said.


The Washington crop sold out in March but from June through September, Oppy sources the bright red apple – which it says has a crisp crunch and intense sweetness all season long – from New Zealand and Chile.

It said last week that the New Zealand Envy crop was already on its way, “much to the delight of retailers across North America, who are eager for the strong dollar and volume contributions of this premium apple to resume.”

“Cool nights and dry harvest days have colored up this season’s New Zealand Envy crop beautifully. Our retail partners are in for a real treat, not only because the fruit looks and tastes so good, but its category contribution is proven and continues to come on strong,” Nelley said.

Source: Oppy
Main Envy™ apple image:

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NZ’s deciduous fruit renaissance

New Zealand’s 2015/16 apple exports to reach 351,000t after 333,218t in 2014/15 with record prices.

New Zealand’s deciduous fruit exports should reach a total of 351,000 tons for 2015/16, up from 333,218 tons in 2014/2015, according to updated forecasts in a recent USDA Gain report.

Even though this season was meant to be a biennial bearing ‘off’ year, total deciduous fruit production for 2015/16 is now forecast at 561,100 tons, which would be just 0.7% under the 2014/15 volume of 564,800 tons, the report says. This is thanks to a superb growing season and new plantings of varieties less susceptible to biennial bearing.

Grower returns for the 2015 calendar year were up 15-20% on a per hectare basis, making three profitable years in a row and similar, “if not slightly better” returns are expected this year.

“The highlight of the CY2015 New Zealand export season was the very good FOB returns, which averaged NZ$33.96/TCE thirteen percent better than 2013/2014. A depreciation of New Zealand currency during the year was behind the increase. Most grower returns were bolstered by 15-20% per hectare from a combination of the better prices and on average five percent better average yields,” the report says.

Sector in expansion mode

Total deciduous fruit plantings are estimated at 9,626 ha, up 3.4% on the 2014/15 total of 9,309 ha. “Total plantings are forecast to keep increasing at the rate of 300-400ha per year through to CY2020.”

“…the sector is now in a renaissance and is forecast to expand the planted area each year through to 2020. By 2020 it is forecast the apple area will be 10,400 ha to 10,600 ha. The trends of the last 5-6 years will be continued in terms of cultivars planted with: high color Royal Gala sports; new Fuji varieties; Pacific Queen; and Envy plantings dominating.”

Top image courtesy of Pixabay

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More evidence of kiwifruit’s health benefits

From the digestive system to immunity and metabolic health, an increasing body of research demonstrates how beneficial kiwifruit is for human health.

From the digestive system to immunity and metabolic health, an increasing body of research demonstrates how beneficial kiwifruit is for human health, reports Zespri.

In a press release, the New Zealand-based kiwifruit marketing company said some of the latest research was presented by leading scientists at the first-ever International Symposium on Kiwifruit and Health, held in New Zealand in April.

The symposium brought together nearly 200 global health experts to consider the role of fruit, in particular kiwifruit, in a healthy diet. Among key findings presented:

• Kiwifruit regulates sugar highs and lows in the blood stream.

• New results from human clinical trials reinforce that Zespri Green Kiwifruit improves digestive health function and comfort. This is due to its unique combination of actinidin (a kiwifruit enzyme), fibre and other components.

• Kiwifruit boosts immunity. Eating kiwifruit daily is very effective at increasing blood levels of vitamin C as well as levels in other parts of the body.

Another highlight of the symposium was the finding by Dr John Monro from Plant & Food Research on the glycaemic impact of kiwifruit, namely that kiwifruit helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Delegates also were presented with results from Zespri’s New Zealand arm of a new global clinical trial, which shows that eating two green kiwifruit a day significantly improves bowel function.

Keynote speaker Professor Jacob Seidell, an obesity specialist from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam said there is now general consensus that for much of the world, nutrient-poor food is a key driver in escalating rates of obesity and related chronic disease. “Improved health outcomes are associated with diets high in nutrient-rich, low energy-dense fruit – such as kiwifruit,” he said.

Zespri’s Innovation Leader for Health and Nutrition, Dr Juliet Ansell, said there were exciting research results from new scientific studies. “We know that the more people hear about the health benefits of kiwifruit the more they consume,” she said.

With sales revenues of $1.57 billion in 2014/15, Zespri is one of the world’s most successful horticulture marketing companies and the Zespri brand is recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit.

On behalf of its 2,500 growers in New Zealand and 1,200 growers based elsewhere, Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit.

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NZ kiwi exports set to soar from 2017

In the next 4-5 years, NZ kiwi export volumes are poised to jump up about 20% to reach levels up to 550,000 tons per annum.

Last year was a bumper one for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry with production up 30% to 475,000 tons, exports up 31% to 454,000 tons, and FOB export receipts up 43% to NZ $1.44 billion yoy, reports the USDA.

This year is forecast to be one of consolidation with production and exports up just 1.5% to 482,400 and 460,400 tons respectively.

But over the next 4-5 years, export volumes are likely to resume a faster growth rate, expanding by an estimated additional 20% to reach levels of around 540,000 to 550,000 tons per annum, according to the USDA’s Kiwifruit Sector Report for 2016.

Rise of the Gold kiwifruit variety “G3”

The impressive 31% increase in exports last year over exports in 2014 “is testament to how quickly growers have been able to get the new Gold G3 variety up to mature yields and the superb growing season in 2014/15, which maximised yields in the orchards,” the report says.

And while this year little growth is expected in overall kiwi exports, the variety mix exported will change considerably with Gold kiwifruit volumes up by an estimated 30% and comprising 36% of the total volume of kiwifruit exported from New Zealand.

Export markets

Zespri Gold sells at a premium to virtually all other kiwifruit. The northern E.U. takes the biggest volume of NZ kiwi exports but at a significantly lower FOB price per ton (44% less) than Japan. This is not just due to higher prices for all kiwifruit in Japan, but reflects that Gold kiwifruit comprise 36% of all kiwifruit sold in Japan and just 17% in Northern E.U.

The report says a core strategy for Zespri in order to maintain current price/demand relationships in its more mature markets, amid the increased supply expected in the next four years, is to invest strongly in developing markets. For Zespri these are: China, Latin America (especially Brazil), Turkey, the Middle-East, Mexico and South Korea.

Read Gain report NZ1601, March 24, 2016, “Kiwifruit Sector Report – 2016”

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Major growth, solid profits in New Zealand’s deciduous fruit sector

The deciduous fruit sector in New Zealand is experiencing its third year of solid profits. The sector is now well into a major expansion phase, moving towards a goal of increasing export receipts to NZ$ one billion by 2022.

The deciduous fruit sector in New Zealand is experiencing its third year of solid profits, according to a new USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

The sector is now well into a major expansion phase, moving towards a goal of increasing export receipts to NZ$ 1 billion by 2022, up from its best so far of NZ$ 620 million for the year-to-date 2014/2015, it says. And the country’s planted deciduous tree area is estimated to be up 8% for 2015/16 at 9,750 ha and harveste area is estimated at 9,500 ha, a 6% rise on 2014/2015.

New high color varieties, primarily targeting Asian tastes, are being planted.

A cold dry winter in the Hawkes Bay region followed by a rapid increase in temperatures in October 2015 set the trees up for a compressed high volume flower blossoming in October, which augers well for the harvest in March/April 2016, GAIN said.

“Total deciduous fruit production for 2015/2016 is forecast to increase two percent, reaching a level of 565,350 metric tons (MT). With a greater volume of domestically produced apples in abundance during 2014/2015 it is estimated that domestic consumption of apples and pears will be 80,500MT, a seven percent upward shift from the previous year. Again for the 2015/2016 year there will be plenty of domestic fruit in the market and consumption is expected to remain at 80,000MT.

“The greater volume of the apple crop which has made export grade in 2014/2015 means processing volumes are unlikely to have increased as much as was expected back in April 2015. It is now estimated total deciduous fruit processing volumes will be 147,350MT which is still a 28% increase over the 2013/2014 year.”

“For the current year 2014/2015 total deciduous fruit exports are now expected to reach 331,000MT which amounts to a three percent increase from previous estimates. More of the total crop was export grade than had been expected after the hail and storm damage, which has now facilitated the export tonnage increase. For 2015/2016 it is forecast the volume will rise to 342,000MT, a gain of three percent.

Extraordinary growth in the Asian markets has translated into large export volumes for New Zealand. In fact, in 2014/2015 about 40% of the New Zealand apple export volume has gone to Asian destinations, up from 31% just two years ago. In contrast New Zealand apple exports to Europe and the UK, for so long the key region for export volume demand and overall export returns, have diminished from taking 41% of the export volume in 2012/2013 to this year, 2014/2015, 38%.

“A key element in the relative success enjoyed by New Zealand deciduous fruit exporters in Asian markets has been the negotiation of market access protocols containing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) conditions that growers in New Zealand can comply with,” GAIN said.

Source: New Zealand: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual, November 5, 2015, Attaché Reports (GAIN)

Image of Tukituki River and Te Mata Peak, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand by Phillip Capper from Wellington, New Zealand [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons