The Sacramento, Calif.-based Kiwifruit Administrative Committee forecasts a California crop of 6.5 million 7-pound tray equivalents for the new season, which runs from October to May.
Last year’s crop exceeded 9 million tray equivalents.
Bob DiPiazza, president of Pasadena, Calif.-based grower-shipper Sun Pacific Marketing, said significant new acreage coming into production this year will increase volumes at Sun Pacific for the next few years.
Kragie, who expects the California crop to be down 10% to 15%, said new plantings and new acreage among his 8-10 growers should bring up volumes at Western Fresh to last year’s levels.
After several years of large sizes, he predicts the California crop will be down two or three sizes — in the 26-33 range compared to last year’s peaks of 20, 27 and 25.
Brian Lapin, salesman for Madera, Calif-based Stellar Distributing Inc., said his California growers planned to start harvesting in late September, about two weeks ahead of last year.
Phillips, who was also “ready to go,” said exports of California kiwis are holding their own in Mexico, Canada and Central America.
“We even have opportunities in Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.