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A message from Colin Bond

Posted By HBFA | December 19, 2022

We’ve almost made it to the end of the year! I’ve heard from many that this has been one of the most trying years in recent memory. So much so, that many of the significant events seem to blur into each other. Harvest this year started with the insecurity of COVID-19 impacting upon the availability of labour, as well as meeting export protocols. Fruit quality quickly became a central issue across the whole supply chain resulting in a significant dip in Grower profitability. NZKGI Executive members Mark Mayston and Sally Gardiner have provided a podcast in this newsletter which cover their experiences of a recent trip to Europe to investigate the quality of our kiwifruit in market (here).

The year ended with rough weather, hitting orchards with frost as well as warmer conditions creating a highly variable bud break and setting us up with a significantly reduced forecast volume of 144 million trays for next year, down from the around 200 million trays forecast in the Zespri 5-year Outlook.

Next year is going to be another big one for Growers. In addition to Zespri share alignment, a longer-term quality solution and the enduring funding margin to re-negotiate, we have the RSE policy review amongst a plethora of other policy regulation to wade through as well as a national election where we will be outlining our policy position across the various parties.

Most importantly, we have the financial pressure from reduced volumes which will see everyone tightening their belts. There are many Growers doing it tough out there. We will also come to a conclusion on the EPAs decision on the use of Hi-Cane as well as the Gisborne Rates appeal. Make no mistake, NZKGI is advocating hard for Growers in both of these areas.

Make sure you recharge your batteries before the new year begins. We are all going to have to work smartly and collaboratively to get the maximum value out of our smaller volume.

– NZKGI CEO Colin Bond

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