19 Jun 2015

Record kiwifruit harvest for Seeka

10:33 am on 19 June 2015

Kiwifruit grower and post harvest operator, Seeka, has packed a record amount of fruit from the just completed harvest, in another sign of the kiwifruit industry's recovery from Psa vine disease.

Green kiwifruit growers got their highest ever return per hectare of $53,884 and just over $6 a tray.

Photo: 123RF

The country's biggest kiwifruit grower and second biggest packer said it had handled more than 26 million trays of class one export fruit, compared with 20 million trays last year.

That included more than four million trays of gold kiwifruit, well over twice the amount packed last season, as supplies of the new more Psa tolerant gold variety come on stream.

But the chief executive Michael Franks said the big surprise was the significant increase in the green kiwifruit crop.

"We had been expecting around 17 and a half or 18 million trays, based on last year's yields, but actually that same catchment produced us 21 point eight million trays, so a significant lift from expectation and a big lift on last year.

"And you know, that's different growing techniques and a kinder growing season."

Mr Franks said there was still a lot way to go in the selling season, and Zespri was already forecasting lower per tray returns, because of the bigger crop.

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