A life’s work of plant breeding

Ten years after the kiwifruit sector was all but wiped out by Psa, Te Puke plant breeder Russell Lowe takes some humble satisfaction knowing his work brought it back from the brink to become the country’s highest value horticultural crop.

Kiwifruit centre to accelerate innovation

A long-time kiwifruit plant breeder has welcomed the announcement by Zespri and Plant & Food Research to commission an autonomous breeding centre to accelerate new cultivar development.

Big names back kiwifruit fund

A GROUP of high-profile kiwifruit identities are backing an investment fund aimed specifically at raising money to purchase existing or greenfield SunGold kiwifruit orchards.

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).