Summerfruit NZ has big growth plans

Summerfruit New Zealand (SNZ) is planning to spend nearly $17 million during the next seven years to grow the summer fruit industry. SNZ board chairman Tim Jones has said that the strategy was designed to move the industry forward as well as make money.

Two consultation meetings with growers and other industry stakeholders were held in Alexandra and Napier last week to outline its Sensational Summerfruit: A bold plan for growth programme and ask for feedback.

Each meeting was attended by SNZ directors, growers, packhouse owners and other industry players, and outlined the benefits of the proposed strategy, as well as expected industry projections and challenges in the next few years.

The proposed seven-year programme has five different spheres of work, which includes research into new markets and identifying consumer needs and wants. It will develop better packaging and transport logistics, as well as utilising new purchasing channels, developing new varieties of fruit that target specific demographics and which have higher value health benefits.

They will develop higher performing orchards, introduce new technology including robotics, and even improve crop forecasting. According to¸ the strategy is expected to cost about $16.6 million, which includes $8million from industry, $2million of in kind support and $6.6million from the Primary Growth Partnership.

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