Pipfruit in­dus­try on a roll

Phe­nom­e­nal time for New Zealand’s pipfruit grow­ers

Hamilton Metro News - - Front Page -

New Zealand’s buoy­ant ap­ple and pear in­dus­try is set to pro­duce the coun­try’s largest ever crop, on the back of a suc­cess­ful plan for bil­lion-dol­lar ex­port growth.

Pipfruit New Zealand’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Alan Pollard said crop es­ti­mates just com­pleted show the 2017 forecast of 584,000 tonnes will eclipse the previous record of 560,000 tonnes held since 2004.

“The days of boom and bust cy­cles are over, year on year we prove that New Zealand is the best coun­try in the world to grow and mar­ket ap­ples,” Mr Pollard said.

“This is a phe­nom­e­nal time for New Zealand’s ap­ple and pear in­dus­try. 2017 is shap­ing up to be a sea­son to cel­e­brate and we con­tinue to strive for even greater suc­cess.

“Hot days and cool nights have pro­duced a very high qual­ity crop for 2017, with out­stand­ing colour and a size pro­file sim­i­lar to last year’s.

“New Zealand ap­ples are fan­tas­tic in colour, tex­ture, eat­ing qual­ity, and flavours and we are seeing grow­ing de­mand from across the world,” Mr Pollard said.

All of New Zealand’s grow­ing re­gions, in­clud­ing Nel­son that was re­cov­er­ing from the im­pact of sig­nif­i­cant hail events last sea­son, will ex­pe­ri­ence in­creased pro­duc­tion with new plant­ings coming on stream.

The 2017 crop, pro­duced from 9500 hectares shows huge pro­duc­tiv­ity gains com­pared to the previous record sea­son in 2004 grown on 13,500 hectares.

“In 2004, 84 per cent of ap­ples went to North Amer­ica and the Euro­pean Union and only 13 per cent to Asia and the Mid­dle East. To­day that ra­tio is ap­proach­ing 50/50.

“The growth is as ex­pected and is con­sis­tent with the in­dus­try long term strat­egy. New Zealand is ranked the most com­pet­i­tive ap­ple ex­porter in the world and the real growth is coming now from our breed­ing pro­gramme in li­censed va­ri­eties that are sup­ply­ing the world’s top re­tail­ers which have the most dis­cern­ing cus­tomers.

“Our world lead­ing grow­ing sys­tems which pro­duce ap­ples and pears with the low­est lev­els of residues of any other ex­port­ing coun­try gives New Zealand pri­or­ity mar­ket ac­cess, and New Zealand de­vel­oped world lead­ing post-har­vest tech­nol­ogy en­sures only the high­est qual­ity fruit en­ters the mar­ket.

“It’s more great news for pro­vin­cial New Zealand, lead­ing to in­creased em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with more skilled labour de­mand in Gis­borne, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Nel­son, South Can­ter­bury and Cen­tral Otago.

“In­dus­try sup­port ser­vices and busi­nesses will also see the ben­e­fits from this growth, with mil­lions of ex­port re­turns in­jected back into the lo­cal economies.”

In 2012 New Zealand Ap­ples and Pears set a goal of be­com­ing a bil­lion-dol­lar ex­port sec­tor by 2022. It is the first of the larger pri­mary sec­tors to achieve the Gov­ern­ment’s ex­port dou­ble goal, in­creas­ing from $341 mil­lion in ex­ports in 2012 to ap­prox­i­mately $720m last year. The in­dus­try ex­pects to achieve its bil­lion-dol­lar ex­port tar­get much ear­lier than forecast, and is al­ready look­ing to­wards set­ting a $2 bil­lion goal.

It’s more great news for pro­vin­cial New Zealand, lead­ing to in­creased em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with more skilled labour de­mand in Gis­borne, Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Nel­son, South Can­ter­bury and Cen­tral Otago. Alan Pollard

ALAN POLLARD: Pipfruit New Zealand’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.