The post-harvest operation located in Tauranga is dropping its green kiwifruit packing prices in a bid to boost the New Zealand industry once again. The 21% drop has been made possible thanks to Mount Pack & Cool’s (Mpac) foresight and investment programme spanning five years.
“We’ve been able to do this because we started with a blank canvas in 2017, buying the land in Tauriko and designing and building the ultimate post-harvest operation to optimise efficiencies,” says Mpac Managing Director Brendon Lee. “This investment and the resulting operation mean we can now make this significant move to support green kiwifruit growers – a move that we believe is needed to reinvigorate the struggling variety.”
The green kiwifruit industry was the backbone of the New Zealand kiwifruit industry for over 30 years, now overtaken by gold. But green’s recovery is critical not just because of its direct impact on the livelihoods of green growers, but those growing the more popular gold.
“The packing of green offsets the price of packing gold, it’s as simple as that. What’s good for green, is good for the gold and the whole industry,” says Brendon. “Without the green packing cycle between March and June, which predominantly comes after the gold, it will be twice as costly at post-harvest for gold and then we’ll find that part of the industry straining. Green growers are doing it tough financially – they have been for a while. We believe that the green industry is under threat of becoming extinct if the industry leaders like us don’t step in and make bold moves to support the industry to be financially feasible.”
“At Mpac we see a future for green – it’s still in demand around the world, we just need to keep it commercially viable by providing a good, competitive service and packing price for the growers. Green is a crucial part of the kiwifruit portfolio.”
The 21% price drop, equating to a new price of $1.29 per tray, reflects the pricing of some years ago, and a 70-cent differentiation compared to some other post-harvest operations. “It’s this lever around pricing and service that we can pull at a time that it’s needed. It’s a significant drop, which will be material for green growers.”
Mpac hopes its latest move to drop green packing prices will be the wake-up call other industry players need to look further into the future and recognise the importance of the green variety and its longevity.
“We can’t neglect green. We must take a long-term view and ensure we’re doing everything we can to nurture the prosperity of green growers into the future.”