Zespri forecasts boost to kiwifruit grower returns

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Fruitnet.com Staff

BY FRUITNET.COM STAFF

Zespri forecasts boost to kiwifruit grower returns

Returns to New Zealand's kiwifruit growers are expected to bounce back this season thanks to better pricing, sizes and exchange rates.

Zespri forecasts boost to kiwifruit grower returns

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Global marketer Zespri announced on Friday that fruit and service payments per tray supplied are forecast to increase by NZ$0.45-NZ$0.85 for Zespri Green kiwifruit, NZ$0.55-NZ$0.95 for Green Organic and NZ$0.50-NZ$0.90 for Gold.

The Zespri Board also plans to deliver a loyalty premium per class 1 tray of NZ$0.15 for the 2008/09 season, compared to NZ$0.10 for the 2007/08 season. The loyalty premium is paid to growers who are party to Zespri’s three-year rolling contract.

Zespri chief executive Tony Nowell said the expected improvement in return and loyalty premiums would be welcomed, particularly by green kiwifruit growers who were hardest hit by the impacts of foreign exchange movements in 2007/08.

He attributed the forecast 2008/09 payment increase to improvements in market pricing, fruit size-profile and the foreign exchange situation, although he did warn that the rise would be offset to some degree by increased shipping costs.

Mr Nowell added that the industry had managed an exceptional start to the current season with another record crop of good quality, great tasting early fruit arriving into an encouraging market environment.

"We're extremely encouraged by the positive start to this season with fruit being harvested, packed and loaded with minimal constraints," he said. "This again reflects the efforts of growers and post-harvest suppliers towards best-practice harvesting and packing, to meet Zespri’s premium quality standards."

Following Zespri's announcement, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers president Graham Wiggins congratulated growers on increasing fruit size profile and improving picking quality, stating that these were key reasons for the predicted increase in returns.

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