The NZ Kiwiberry harvest is due to start in early February, and is expected to run for two months from early February to early April.
“Although it is a short season, Kiwiberries are receiving an increase in global popularity,” says Geoff Oliver, Chairman of the NZ Kiwiberry Grower Association. “As in industry we are anticipating a crop similar to 2019 season, which may not meet the growing demand,” he said.
The harvest of the NZ Kiwiberry crop begins only when the brix, dry matter and seeds are at a level when excellent tasting and quality fruit can be ensured to the consumer. Geoff said: “At this point, the fruit looks to be of very high standard, with good sizing, which promises for a very good season for our growers.”
NZ Kiwiberry industry currently has three varieties including Tahi, Marju Red and Takaka Green which all provide very different flavors. Each provide very high nutritional value, which make them great for families, caterers, restaurants and hotels. Kiwiberries have a smooth skin and can be eaten just like a grape.
Geoff Oliver, inspecting a crop near Te Puke, in the Bay of Plenty.
Kiwiberries have many uses such as a key ingredient in fruit cocktails, smoothies, coulees and salads, along with being a great daily snack. Combining these versatile attributes along with its high nutritional values means it is a fruit unlike many others that packs a punch well above its small size.
The warm dry summer has been good for orchards, and low rainfall in January to date has decreased pest pressure, resulting in fruit with minimal defects.
Over the past 16 years, NZ growers have gained a better understanding of how to grow this sometimes difficult, and unpredictable crop. They are now very competent in producing a high standard of fruit which is exported worldwide to over 18 countries.