The annual kiwifruit harvest has almost been completed and growers and exporters have expressed their satisfaction at the quality and quantity of this year's crop worth around $50 million.
They have also breathed a sigh of relief when it comes to the amount of labour available to carry out the harvest. The last of the gold kiwifruit were picked a fortnight ago and there remains about three weeks of work to harvest the last of the green variety.
Tim Tietjens, the NZ Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated Gisborne representative, said the labour situation was “tight”. “But we managed to get through and the high degree of co-operation between growers certainly helped.”
Bill Thorpe, from NZ Fruits, said they got through the harvest with the labour available. “We certainly did not have the labour issues they had over in the Bay of Plenty.”
The fruit quality and quantity was right where they wanted it to be, Mr Tietjens said. “We've had good yields and good taste, particularly taste-wise with the green kiwifruit.
A rough estimate of gold kiwifruit trays out of Gisborne would be slightly over four million. Each tray weighs about 3.5 kilograms so it's about 14,000 tonnes of fruit. “Each tray is worth about $12 to the grower (orchard gate return/OGR) so the value of the kiwifruit crop is over $50 million to the district's growers,” Mr Tietjen said.