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Ten percent of Central Otago-grown fruit going to waste

A new report, commissioned by the Central Otago District Council, has found more than 10 percent of the fruit grown in Central Otago is not being sold or eaten. The report was written by horticulture consulting business Thrive Consulting, which based its findings off surveys and interviews with local growers.

It concluded that 85 percent of the apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines grown in Central Otago did leave the orchard for local and export markets, but the rest was not being sold or eaten. Unharvested fruit loss was estimated at 8.6 percent, while harvested fruit that was not sold amounted to 4.2 percent.

According to Council economic development manager Nick Lanham, there could be many reasons for the fruit not making it to market, including labor shortages during the harvest and quality issues when the fruit was being graded in the packhouse. quoted Lanham as saying: “With food and horticulture innovation and consumer awareness around waste increasing, the time was right to be investigate options to support industry to reduce fruit loss.”

"There is very little research on food loss in New Zealand and we couldn't find anything published for our local horticulture sector, so doing this research to understand our current situation seemed like a very good place to start."

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