New Zealand topfruit grower and marketer Turners & Growers (T&G) is targeting higher profits in 2008 and has confirmed plans to increase volumes of its Jazz apple variety, exported by subsidiary Enza, from 1m cartons this year to "between 6m and 10m trays" as of next year.
"Whilst the New Zealand apple industry relies on commodity varieties such as braeburn and royal gala attracting a premium price, this is not large enough to mitigate the adverse movements in foreign exchange," commented T&G chairman Tony Gibbs at the company's annual meeting in Auckland yesterday. "We believe the answer is to invest in exclusively controlled varieties that attract superior returns."
High exchange rates and a downturn in export volumes, notably out of frost-affected Hawkes Bay, are the major challenges this season, Mr Gibbs said. "Depending on the pipfruit export outcome the best I can say is that we expect our operating profit to exceed that of 2007."
Meanwhile, Enza is also reporting a good response from the trade for its new Envy apple variety. "We believe Envy has the potential to be as successful, if not more so, than Jazz," suggested Mr Gibbs. "Jazz and Envy will give Enza control of two of the premium global apple varieties."