The 2022/23 season was one to remember for growers around the country with what has been described as the worst season on record to grow kiwifruit. This included a combination of severe rain events, low sunlight hours for photosynthesis, poor pollination, low floral activity due to a warm winter, hail events, and many more. Despite this, growers put their head down and did what they needed to get the crop into the packhouse and packed. This year has produced low volumes compared to previous years, but an increase in quality from last year which saw a positive change in the market and a continuation of oversees sales.
Last year, Zespri supplied 171 million trays of kiwifruit to the market. This year, as of mid-June, Zespri has projected only 140 million trays. This is a direct correlation to the extreme weather events and poor plant performance from low light levels. Many growers this season found their orchards were two weeks to a month later than last year to receive clearance for picking. This was due to fruit development being slower and the accumulation of sugar and dry matter being irregular.
Looking forward, Zespri has strong and confident predictions for the industry and continues to predict positive market outcomes for the years to come. We look to use this past year as a huge learning opportunity and potential for the kiwifruit industry to make a comeback and show we can still grow the best kiwifruit in the world.