Hawke’s Bay could this year be in a position to boost its share of the multibillion-dollar kiwifruit industry, after a report highlighted new opportunities to establish more orchards in the region.
According to the ANZ Kiwifruit Insights paper, the New Zealand kiwifruit sector is set for growth following 2017’s record season and new development opportunities across the country.
At present Hawke’s Bay contains just 1 per cent of the country’s green kiwifruit orchards and 3 per cent of orchards producing the SunGold variety. However, the report said diminishing available land in Bay of Plenty creates an opportunity for greenfield development in Hawke’s Bay.
“The success of the kiwifruit sector is remarkable. It has continued to invest in new varieties while staying connected to consumer demand and has worked hard to keep international markets alive.
“The industry is a great example of how working together, sharing information and continuously looking to improve, can benefit the entire sector. The co-operative mindset is a big part of the success we see today.”
Mr Hiddleston said the paper, which outlined industry investment opportunities and challenges, showed strong global demand, coupled with Zespri’s ambition to grow global sales to $4.5 billion by 2025, was driving demand for kiwifruit orchards which were selling at record prices.
While the scene was set for growth, Mr Hiddleston said, the trick for the sector would be sustainable growth over a number of years.
“Sustainable growth will require ongoing market development, delivering to customer demand on a consistent basis, and building the infrastructure required for higher production,” he said.
“That steady growth is what we need to achieve to meet the aspirational goals that the industry has set.”
Zespri chief grower and alliances officer Dave Courtney told Hawke’s Bay Today that there would be a chance for Hawke’s Bay to grow its share of the market through the annual licence auction.
“Zespri’s goal is to more than double global sales to $4.5b by 2025, while maintaining strong returns to NZ growers.
“Achieving this ambitious growth means an additional 7000ha of SunGold in NZ and around 6500ha offshore, as well as large-scale investment in post-harvest infrastructure, as outlined in ANZ’s report.
“The Zespri Board last year announced that 700ha of SunGold licence and an additional 50ha of SunGold organic licence will be allocated each year for the next five years. This is run as a closed tender bid process so we can’t say with any certainty how much licence will be allocated to each region.
“Hawke’s Bay accounts for just over 1 per cent of Zespri’s NZ volume. We are seeing increased interest in the region as orchards expand and new sites are developed.”
Kiwifruit Vine health data shows that all but 10 of Hawke’s Bay’s 49 kiwifruit orchards have PSA but Mr Courtney said PSA was very much part of normal orchard management for growers now and was generally well controlled across the industry.