The New Zealand apple season is looking rosy as warm summer temperatures and cooler autumn evenings bring on a rich colour and full flavour to the new season fruit.
Hundreds of orchard workers have descended on the orchards of Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Otago to pick and pack apples, with total volumes for T&G, New Zealand’s largest apple exporter, expected to reach around seven million cartons, up on last year’s volumes.
New Zealand’s buoyant apple industry is set to produce another bumper crop, on the back of a growth strategy which will see the country hit one billion dollars in export sales by 2020. T&G is well on the way toward helping the industry achieve that.
“Our apples are looking good in terms of colour, texture, eating quality and flavour, and due to New Zealand’s superior breeding programmes, our world leading growing systems and post-harvest technology, it means only the highest quality fruit enters the market”, says Peter Landon-Lane, T&G’s Chief Operating Officer.
The spring threw some challenges for growers in Hawke’s Bay, delivering wet weather, warm summer temperatures moderated by the recent cooler nights have meant good fruit size and high–quality fruit.
Meanwhile in Nelson, a wet winter was followed by good pollination conditions in spring. However, since the new year, there has been very little rainfall meaning an earlier harvest start date in the region.