New Zealand apple growers are investing in more plantations as demand for the country’s apples growers overseas.
Pipfruit New Zealand CEO Alan Pollard said a million new apple trees are being planted, with the country’s world-leading apple industry set to become a billion-dollar export business.
“All of our growing regions are experiencing increased industry investment. Our apple industry is putting tens and hundreds of millions of dollars back into the local economies of our growing regions with huge spin-offs for local businesses and for growing jobs,” Pollard said.
Pollard highlighted Waimean Nuseries, based in Nelson, as on of the success stories of the country’s apple industry.
Waimea Nurseries has a three-year back order for some of its rootstock types, with business doubling in just four years and now supplying 600,000 new trees each year.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time after experiencing the highs and lows of supplying the traditional cyclical primary sector, as the pipfruit industry has found more consistent profitability,” Waimea MD Mike Simpson said. “What we are seeing is growers pre-ordering rootstocks and waiting to select the variety as close to the time of planting as possible and keeping all options open.
“We are seeing broad demand for varieties, however, there is real excitement around the opportunities coming out of Asia for sweet red apples, along with the US and continued demand out of Europe.”