Post-har­vest in­vest­ment of $1 bil­lion needed

The Orchardist - - News - By Anne Hardie & Kris­tine Walsh

On the Ze­spri road­show in Nel­son, new chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Daniel Mathieson said that tar­get was within the in­dus­try’s grasp, but not with­out chal­lenges rang­ing from world pol­i­tics and economies through to biose­cu­rity, labour and the abil­ity to get sig­nif­i­cant plant­ings into the ground.

The in­dus­try grows about 13,000ha of fruit and that will have to in­crease to about 20,000ha to achieve Ze­spri’s am­bi­tious goal, with SunGold in­creas­ing from about 6000ha to 10,000ha and Ze­spri Green which is de­clin­ing, turn­ing in the other di­rec­tion to climb from 7000ha to 9000ha. That means find­ing good land with good ac­cess to post-har­vest fa­cil­i­ties as well as labour.

Ge­o­graphic di­ver­sity was equally im­por­tant be­cause of biose­cu­rity risks which was high­lighted by Psa, when fruit could not be shipped to China from the Bay of Plenty, but could be sourced from Nel­son.

Ma­jor growth in the in­dus­try would also need mas­sive in­vest­ment in the post-har­vest sec­tor, which Mr Mathieson put at $1 bil­lion. In­no­va­tion and in par­tic­u­lar, au­to­ma­tion due to the shortage of labour, were a real fo­cus for that in­vest­ment, he said. The chal­lenge in New Zealand was util­i­sa­tion of those fa­cil­i­ties, so Ze­spri was look­ing at off­shore fa­cil­i­ties where it could send fruit to the mar­ket early for cool stor­age and pos­si­bly pack­ing fruit off­shore as well to ease the bur­den here as the crop grows sub­stan­tially to fill su­per­mar­ket shelves.

“We need to be the ki­wifruit cat­e­gory man­ager of choice to as many re­tail­ers around the world as we can. When they think ki­wifruit, they think Ze­spri and come to us for ev­ery­thing. That’s not just in New

Zealand, but 12 months of the year be­cause as soon as you give them a gap in the shelf space, some­one else gets in there and it’s harder to get your po­si­tion back again.”

To do that, it needs a seam­less tran­si­tion be­tween the New Zealand sup­ply of fruit and its non-New Zealand sup­ply 12 months of the year so re­tail­ers have the en­tire year sown up and don’t need to talk with any­one else, he said.

Al­ready, Ze­spri is the big­gest con­sumer foods brand out of New Zealand with a value of $2.3 bil­lion last year and Mr Mathieson said it was on the way to be­com­ing the big­gest in the world.

“It’s grow­ing a real pres­ence with our con­sumers. It’s a con­sumer brand; it’s at the heart of our con­sumers and that’s what is driv­ing us.”

At Ze­spri’s grower road­show in When Mr Mathieson asked who Gis­borne in Novem­ber, chief ex­ec­u­tive might take up the of­fer of SunGold Dan Mathieson re­it­er­ated the mar­ket­ing li­cences a good few hands went up, com­pany’s plan to ramp up pro­duc­tion but hav­ing ob­served an ac­cel­er­a­tion of its star per­former, SunGold, through of ap­ple plant­ings on the Poverty Bay an an­nual al­lo­ca­tion of 700 hectares in Flats, some grow­ers were wor­ried li­cences from 2018 to 2022, mak­ing for about the avail­abil­ity of labour. a to­tal of 3,500 hectares re­leased over

How­ever, grower and Tairawhiti the next five years.

Labour gov­er­nance group chair Tim (The board will re­view the li­cence Egan said they were one step ahead. re­lease each year against mar­ket

The gov­ern­ment-funded Tairawhiti per­for­mance.)

hor­ti­cul­ture co-or­di­na­tor had been Two-hun­dred and fifty hectares of hard at work ex­plor­ing the sea­sonal Or­ganic SunGold will also be re­leased work scene in Gis­borne with the aim over the same pe­riod so with nearly of pulling it to­gether for the ben­e­fit 6,000 hectares of the rich Poverty Bay of both em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees Flats in pas­ture/un­used land (Gis­borne

“so we are head­ing in the right Dis­trict Coun­cil Arable Land Use

di­rec­tion”. Sum­mer Crop Sur­vey 2016/2017) – and still more in low-value crops – And just that morn­ing East­land po­ten­tial li­cence-hold­ers will have the Com­mu­nity Trust had ap­proved a re­gion in their sights. grant of $230,000 to build on the

Tairawhiti work­force project, known And lo­cals will need to move fast if

as Tipu, go­ing into the fu­ture. (See they want to get on the SunGold train.

story Page 25). There are al­ready re­ports of in­ter­est in land from buy­ers from the dense­lyThere was no deny­ing that fur­ther planted Bay of Plenty, where prices for re­leases could put pres­sure on the ex­ist­ing SunGold ki­wifruit or­chards re­sources of land, wa­ter, labour this year hit a high of over $1 mil­lion and post-har­vest ser­vices, Ze­spri a hectare, more than dou­ble the chair­man Peter McBride said. $400,000 recorded in 2014.

Dan Mathieson

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.