Jens Liesebach, KGI Lower North Island Representative
Slowly but surely the crop is coming off. My guess is that half of the Hawke’s Bay Gold blocks and the first 25% of the Green kiwifruit blocks have been harvested. Initially the start of Green kiwifruit harvest was sluggish, but the additional 40 cents to the kiwistart payment convinced growers to get harvesting which is important for a strong start in the overseas markets. By Sunday last week approximately 40m trays of Gold and 4m trays of Green had been submitted nationally.
Initial feedback from the market is looking positive. Zespri CEO Daniel Mathieson started the new season with key customers and partners in Tokyo. The fruit travelled on the MV Solent Star which is the first out of a planned 72 ships to deliver a crop of over 190m trays of kiwifruit to global markets.
Back home, the government has simplified the Covid rules at work. We still need to be cautious about the spread of the virus. Every step of harvest, from picking and transporting through to packing of the fruit is managed by people. Initially packhouses in the Bay of Plenty reported 300+ staff being off work due to Covid but these high numbers are decreasing day by day. We all need to do our part in keeping Covid at bay to get through mainpack.
NZKGI is currently managing a radio campaign across New Zealand which advertises job vacancies on its Facebook page KiwifruitJobsNZ. Because of the increased advertising work, NZKGI are seeing more hits to the Facebook page than ever before. Placing vacancies on this page is free for employers. For more information about placing an ad, click here.
At the time of writing, the East coast is bracing for another storm. Not welcome news. However, Damian O’Connor did announce some border exemptions for the primary sector today, so this might help ease some worries in the future. Remember that if the stresses of work or just life in general are getting too much, do take some time out. The NZKGI podcasts about stress management and Nigel Latta’s spin on resilience are highly informative and entertaining. Please click here to watch the video.