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Kurt Livingston - Fern Ridge Fresh

"Resilient growers have fought hard to produce high quality apples once again"

Fern Ridge Fresh, based in Hawkes Bay, have been in business for over 20 years. The company sources apples from growers all across New Zealand - from Gisborne and Hawkes Bay in the North Island to Nelson, Canterbury and Central Otago in the South Island.

"We export the typical New Zealand apple varieties like, Royal Gala, NZ Queen, Fuji, Braeburn, Pink Lady etc. But our biggest variety volume wise is KORU®," said Kurt Livingston, Export Sales Executive at Fern Ridge Fresh.


KORU® is a large size variety that has an intense red colouring that covers 2/3rd’s of the apple, and a rich honey like flavour. KORU® has become very popular in Vietnam, with well over 200 containers from New Zealand going there annually.

"We are seeing increasing demand in other markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and many other countries around the globe. We also export a specialty pear variety called PiqaBoo®. This premium variety is incredibly sought after in Asia, with its hot red skin and tropically juicy eating experience. Volumes for this variety are increasing year by year, and we are excited to develop new markets."


Harvest for Royal Gala started in mid-February in Hawkes Bay, closely followed by Nelson in late Feb. KORU® harvest has started over the past two weeks, and the fruit is looking in great condition this year, according to Kurt.

"Hawkes Bay has had a well-documented wet summer, culminating in the cyclone Gabrielle event which had widespread effects. This however hasn’t impacted general fruit quality as one would expect, as the resilient growers have fought hard to produce high quality apples once again. The Nelson region has had a fantastic growing season to date, and the quality of all varieties has been sublime."

Fern Ridge Fresh, have had a volume reduction of about 15% due to the cyclone. This was mainly blocks that had been hit by the floods near the rivers that burst their banks, and other blocks that had completely blown over due to the strong winds.

"Sizing in Hawkes Bay is about ‘normal’ this year, with a relatively even bell curve. In Nelson the size profile is larger, which is great for many of the Asian programs. KORU® has a large size profile, which is perfect for the Vietnam market," explains Kurt.

Fern Ridge Fresh's key markets are Vietnam, China and other Asian markets. They also have strong programs and customer relationships in Scandinavia, Canada, the Middle East, India and Europe too.

For more information:

Kurt Livingston
Fern Ridge Fresh
Tel: +64 6 651 2646

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