New Zealand’s green kiwifruit growers are tipped to tend to a significantly lighter crop this season.
Citing figures from the latest industry forecast (completed earlier this month), the country’s largest exporter of green kiwifruit to Australia, NutriKiwi, told Asiafruit there could be up to a 30 per cent reduction in green volumes compared to 2016.
However, the company’s general manager, Michael Leach, has indicated the outlook is not all bad.
Leach said current monitoring indicates fruit will have a high dry matter, while fruit sizing also looks good, with NutriKiwi anticipating an average 32 count size this year.
“New Zealand kiwifruit vines have produced very high yields for the past two years, so the commonly accepted view is that theyre having a rest year,” Leach said.
“Secondly, we’ve had a warm winter plus severe winds across the Bay of Plenty throughout November, December and early January which has created challenging growing conditions.
“These two factors have combined to deliver less green kiwifruit overall. But the quality of that fruit will be excellent for retailers and consumers alike who are discovering all the benefits this highly nutritious fruit has to offer.”
NutriKiwi expects to begin shipping green kiwifruit to Australia from May, with the programme extending through until November.
NutriKiwi is a joint venture between leading post-harvest operators EastPack, Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool, DMS Progrowers, and Opotiki Packing & Cool Storage. The group claims to control around half of the green New Zealand fruit available to be shipped across the Tasman each year.