New Zealand kiwi harvest later than expected, but quality looks excellent

New Zealand kiwi harvest later than expected, but quality looks excellent

Michael Franks – Sika

New Zealand kiwifruit harvest is a little behind schedule as the hot and humid weather continues to slow the development and ripening of the berries. The main harvest should begin in about a week.

“The positive side is that the quality of the fruit seems to be excellent. In a way, the delay in the harvest schedule is beneficial because the Omicron variant is now very widespread in the community and people are having to self-isolate,” said Michael Franks, CEO of Seeka. “New Zealand is suffering from severe labour poverty, with the CSR numbers being held back below the required level. The unemployment rate in New Zealand is very low, around 3%. Across New Zealand – employment is tight.”

Seeka plans to pack between 48 and 50 million trays of kiwifruit, including around 29 million SunGold for Seeka and its growers. Seeka plans to pack a small amount of Zespri Red. It is understood the fruit has a very small fruit size, which is typical for red varieties.

In 2021, Seeka acquired Opotiki Packing and Coolstorage Limited (OPAC), Orangewood Limited (Orangewood) and in early 2022 completed the purchase of NZ Fruits. These acquisitions will increase Seeka’s kiwifruit production volume by approximately 30%. In addition, Seeka has acquired a significant stake in agri-tech startup Fruitometry. This digital startup provides real-time information on orchard health and production and is expected to be a game-changer in the future.

“In Australia, Seeka has made a good start to the harvest. The majority of the Nashi pears are harvested. The Corellas and early Packhams are finished. The Rico pears are next before the Nashis are put away and the kiwis are harvested. The fruit quality is excellent, but kiwifruit volumes are expected to be somewhat lower due to labour issues experienced during pruning last year. Labour is also limited in Australia, but the company has been innovative and the crop is going as planned. We expect the kiwis to be harvested next week, which is very early.”

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According to Michael, Australian business has been excellent, and the New Zealand team has remained isolated in New Zealand, with MIQ restrictions making it almost impossible to return to New Zealand. We plan to travel to Australia once the New Zealand harvest season is well underway.”

for more information :
Michael Franks
This. : +64 021 356 516
[email protected]

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