20 Apr 2009

NZ apple industry attributes fundamental improvements to Pacific workers

8:03 pm on 20 April 2009

New Zealand's apple industry says the several thousand seasonal labourers brought in from the Pacific to work in the country's orchards have had a very positive impact on one of the best-quality crops the industry has ever produced.

The website, Freshinfo, says the short term seasonal labourers have improved the industry.

It quotes Pipfruit, New Zealand's top fruit industry body, as saying the Pacific workers have fundamentally changed the industry's ability to deliver quality to the market.

Gary Jones of Pipfruit says currently New Zealand apples are taking the place of other southern hemisphere apples in overseas markets because the quality is higher.

He says the abundance of workers is allowing them to pick the crop at the exact right time in terms of fruit maturity and this is a huge, fundamental change.