T&G Shipping Port of Napier First Envy Apples CREDIT T&G

The ship Seasmile leaves Napier Port with containers of New Zealand grown EnvyTM on board. The Seasmile is heading for Sihanookville (Cambodia), Port Klang (Malaysia), Laem Chabang (Thailand), Singapore, Ho Chi Min and Cat Lai (Vietnam) and Manila in the Philippines. Credit T&G Global

T&G Global has declared its “full steam ahead” for the export programme of its premium Envy apple, with five vessels carrying 28,000 cartons (518 tonnes) departing New Zealand’s Napier Port, destined for China and South East Asian markets.

T&G’s director of operations, Craig Betty, said the company expects to export a high-quality crop of Envy apples to consumers around the world this year, despite severe labour challenges, tight shipping schedules and a global container shortage.

“Our orchard and post-harvest teams are pulling out all the stops to pick and pack our Envy crop this season,” he said.

“We’ve had University students pitching in and working alongside our local seasonal team and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers. In addition, 45 of our office-based team, known as the ‘Envy Army’ are working part-time shifts at our Hawke’s Bay packhouses to ensure our premium Envy apples get to consumers in key global markets,” added Betty.

During the course of the New Zealand export season, T&G will ship approximately 2m cartons (200m apples) of New Zealand grown Envy to consumers in 60 countries.

This week marks the beginning of a busy shipping schedule for T&G’s 2021 apple crop, which over the coming weeks will depart from both Napier and Nelson Ports.

Last week, T&G also air freighted Envy to China and Malaysia in time for new season retail programmes.

This year, T&G and its partner growers across the world will grow, pack and sell a total of 5.5m cartons of Envy globally.

Expanding production

As demand grows for the premium variety, the company is stepping up plantings in both hemispheres to meet increasing consumer demand.

New Envy plantings over the coming years are expected produce another 10m cartons by 2030. Betty said the quality and colour of Envy apples are exceptional this season with 70 per cent of the crop harvested.

“As our mornings get cooler in New Zealand, we’re seeing a strong and vibrant colour coming through and a high proportion of high-grade fruit being packed.”

T&G expect Envy apples to start arriving in international markets by late April.