NZAPI expects good weather and hard work to pay off with high-quality fruit
The annual New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI) crop estimate forecasts national production volumes will increase 12 per cent on the 2022 crop total, marking a rebound from 2023, which suffered significant damage due to Cyclone Gabrielle.
Export volume is estimated at 21.2m cartons (18kg tray equivalents), or 382,000 tonnes, and fruit is expected to have excellent size, colour, eating and flavour properties. Higher dry matter, which enables better storage of the fruit, is also expected.
Karen Morrish, chief executive of NZAPI, said the favourable forecast, which comes after an incredibly tough few years with economic losses due to Covid-19 and Cyclone Gabrielle, is down to a combination of near-perfect growing conditions and hard work from growers.
“The weather conditions in all growing regions have been excellent, with the warm and dry conditions pipfruit needs,” said Morrish.
“While conditions have been great, the season’s expected success is also down to sheer hard work. Growers work hard every season, but for those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, the past year has been tough and continues to be tough for those still recovering.
“Many growers had to dig their orchards out of silt, so it is amazing and surprising to see where we are today after where we were a year ago. Apple trees have proved to be resilient and so too are our growers,” she added.