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Michael Franks - Seeka

Kiwiberry and kiwifruit volumes much more positive after long spells of fine weather

The kiwiberry and kiwifruit harvests are looking positive this season, New Zealand growers have had to contend with a couple of wet winters and some are still feeling the effects of cyclone Gabrielle which struck right before harvest last year.

"The kiwiberry harvest is still underway and has been helped by long spells of fine weather. Crops are looking good and volumes ahead of last year by about 20%," said Michael Franks, CEO at Seeka. "We are about 4 picking days from completion which is perfect with the kiwifruit season about to kick off in earnest in New Zealand."

Seeka and Freshmax jointly market the fruit handled by Seeka with Seeka concentrating on the Australian market and Freshmax on Asia. This multi-marketer approach has delivered excellent results for supplying growers and is now being replicated into Seeka's avocado category to boost returns from the avocado markets.

"The harvest of the Zespri red kiwifruit has started with a small volume of trays packed. We are really waiting for a consistent flow of fruit. The SunGold harvest is imminent with fruit across all catchments close to maturity, with some regions including Gisborne, Northland and the Coromandel particularly close."

Forecast volumes look to have normalised after record low volumes led to Seeka recording a loss in 2023, and many growers and processors financially struggling. The return to more normal yields in SunGold and good yields in Hayward has the industry poised for a better financial year, noting that the harvest has really yet to commence.

"Some orchards are still suffering the effects of the cyclone and in particular water stress leading to vine health decline. While this is devastating for those growers impacted, it is a small percentage of the overall crop."

For more information:
Michael Franks
Tel.: +64 021 356 516