SunGold licences come gold plated

The SunGold kiwifruit variety has again exceeded the previous year’s licence values with the final tender for this year’s tranche closing off at an average of $400,000 a hectare, up 37%.

Kiwifruit sales up on last year

With the complications of social distancing sorted at most kiwifruit packhouses the market prospects are also looking promising for Zespri as the industry passes through its peak harvest week.

In his latest industry update Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson is upbeat about the prospects. 

Kiwifruit labour proves patchy

There are mixed messages in the kiwifruit sector about how many more workers can be put in harvesting roles as the industry enters the peak harvest weeks.

Seeka chief executive Michael Franks said the sector’s labour shortage over the past two seasons has been exacerbated by covid-19. 

Growers head to Supreme Court

An Appeal Court decision on the Government’s liability for the Psa infection in kiwifruit has ruled in favour of  the Crown, stating it is immune responsibility for allegedly negligent acts.

Kiwifruit growers behind the case are now preparing to go to the Supreme Court. 

Kiwifruit taste test goes south

Kiwifruit growers will not be paid for their fruit’s taste profile this season after the country’s only testing facility dropped the test.

Eurofins Bay of Plenty is the country’s only testing facility for the drymatter component of kiwifruit, which gives growers and Zespri a direct indication of the fruit’s taste profile.  

Protocols present harvest challenges

As Covid-19 protocols for essential industry staff become clearer, the kiwifruit sector is facing some tough decisions on how realistic they will prove for this year’s harvest to be successful.

Growers have only one day to go for registration as an “essential business”, and all growers and contractors with over five staff will be required to be registered with Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). 

Kiwifruit rests for new standards

Kiwifruit leader Stu Weston has issued a call to arms to anyone wanting to work during the covid-19 lock-down while also keeping safe.

“This has been a shock and awe decision by the Government but it is the right one,” Weston, the Apata chief executive, says.

Lockdown hurts fruit harvest

The kiwifruit sector has been left hundreds of workers short after New Zealand’s unprecedented border shutdowns locked out seasonal workers for good this season.

Kiwifruit Growers chief executive Nikki Johnson confirmed 1300 Recognised Seasonal Employer workers from the Pacific Islands unable to get here. That represents more than half the region’s allocation for RSE staff.

Kiwifruit seeks social licence

The term social licence to operate could be discarded as yet another slick marketing phrase but it is the guardrail that will keep New Zealand’s primary sector front and centre of this country’s continuing economic growth. 

Richard Rennie spoke to Kellogg scholar and Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated communications manager Mike Murphy about his research on social licence and the kiwifruit sector.