New Zealand gold kiwi rocked by bacterial disease

12/17/2011 02:07:00 AM
Tom Karst

 The success of the sector over the last 10 years initially began with the total control of flow of fruit on to world markets (excluding Australia) by Zespri on behalf the growers. After a shaky start due to fruit loss problems, Gold Kiwifruit has been a raging success for Zespri and the growers who purchased licenses to grow the limited supply variety. Nowhere is this more evident than with exports to Japan. In 2010 Japan took 17% of the total volume but returned 31% of the total value of all exports of kiwifruit.

The volume of kiwifruit was kept at between 55,000 to 59,000 tons from 2004 to 2009, and only in 2010 did the volume rise to 61,000 tons. Now with Psa(v) ravaging the Gold crop, Zespri may find marketing Green Kiwifruit more difficult than ever to maintain the price premiums it has enjoyed in the past even though the crop will be smaller. The prognosis for the industry is not encouraging over the next 2 to 3 years with the effects of Psa(v) likely to further reduce the export volume in 2013 and perhaps even in 2014.


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