T&G pledges Jazz apple payment

For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Tom Bicknell

BY TOM BICKNELL

T&G pledges Jazz apple payment

Turners & Growers will give New Zealand Jazz apple growers a one-off NZ$1 per tray payment to counter falling returns

T&G pledges Jazz apple payment

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The company, which markets apples through its Enza subsidiary, said today it would pay growers NZ$1 (US$0.78) per tray carton equivalent (TCE) in the season’s final payment on 25 November 2010.

Turners & Growers (T&G) also called on the variety owner, Plant & Food Research, to match the contribution from the royalties it receives from the apple variety.

The company last month announced a cut in the forecast returns for New Zealand-grown Jazz to NZ$20.40 (US$15.84) a carton, causing unhappy growers to consider moving to different varieties.

“Returns are currently around NZ$5 (US$3.88) away from break-even for orchardists, and this is the second year in a row we’ve received less than the cost of production,” Paul Thomas of Thomas Brothers Orchard told the Bay of Plenty Times.

But the downgrade in returns is a result of the high-flying New Zealand dollar – the Kiwi – according to T&G, with Jazz apples selling for higher market prices this year in Europe, the UK and Asia.

“The in-market gains for Jazz have been severely impacted by the Kiwi being at record highs or near record highs against the British pound, US dollar and euro dramatically lowering grower returns here,” stated T&G managing director Jeff Wesley.

“Jazz has a strong future as the lead export variety out of New Zealand and we are in a partnership with growers over the long-term to make that happen.”

Exports of the variety from New Zealand hit 1.5m cartons this season, and T&G said it expected demand in the US and Europe to double by 2014.

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