Significant decline in apple and pear export income due to labor shortages

March 22, 2021

New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc. (NZAPI), the industry association that represents all of New Zealand’s apple, pear, and nutty growers, has given an updated production estimate for 2021. It will be On a national level, an annual decline of NZ $ 110 million in export earnings is expected due to labor shortages.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com Apple
Image source: Shutterstock.com

The industry now expects the share of exports in the GDP to be around 347,718 tons, or 19.3 million cartons. That’s 3 million funds, or 14% less than 2020, which is an annual drop of NZ $ 95 million to NZ $ 100 million in export earnings.

Among the items exported, Braeburn is the most affected with a revised estimate of 1,468,000 boxes, about 44% below the 2020 level. The Royal Gala, which remains the variety with the highest export share, is now at 15% or 1,088,000 funds less than 2020 forecast, Cribs Pink 15% less, and Fuji 19%.

On the one hand, Dazzle ™, Envy ™, Honeycrisp and Rockit ™ continue to show strong growth with the new farms coming into production.

In January, the industry forecast a total national revenue of 558,672 tons, which is 5% less than the 2020 crop. The share of re-exports is expected to be 374,751 tons (20.8 million cartons), 7% less than in 2020, reflecting labor shortages and Large reflective hail events in the Nelson and Central Otago regions.

Logo“As we approach the peak harvest season, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are not meeting those initial expectations,” said Alan Pollard, CEO of NZAPI. “Labor availability on farms and in post-harvest operations is very rare compared to the numbers the industry requires, even if we were doing everything we could to make this work attractive to New Zealanders. In addition, the size of the fruits is smaller than we expected.”

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Those: Scoop / NZAPI

Publication date: 03/22/2021

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