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New Zealand apple harvest up despite extraordinary times

The 2020 Tairawhiti apple season was a good one, despite the negative impacts Covid-19. Apple croppers completed their harvest in late April and there were increased volumes across the district's orchards. Around 12,000 tonnes was harvested across the district.

Kaiaponi Farms general manager Scott Wilson: “Favourable weather over the harvest months helped greatly in getting all fruit picked under the extraordinary circumstances of a Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown. Growers did a great job in getting the required systems in place to manage staff and social distancing rules. We consider ourselves lucky to have been classed as an essential industry and allowed the opportunity to run our businesses.”

“Apple volumes at Kaiaponi were up 41 percent, with 9200 tonnes picked and delivered to the packhouse over a 10-week period.”

Kaiaponi Farms handled about 70 percent of the region's apple crop. “The increase in volume is a result of new apple planting coming into production. Most of the growth has been with the apple variety Envy, which continues to prove popular with consumers and growers,” Mr Wilson said.

Most of the Kaiaponi Farms apples are exported. The export volume from here represents about 3 percent the national crop.


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