5 Dec 2011

Eastpack forecasts big drop in kiwifruit production

6:51 am on 5 December 2011

Kiwifruit company Eastpack has had a great year, despite the destruction caused by PSA in Bay of Plenty.

However, it is expecting a big drop in production to make the coming year a lot tougher.

Eastpack is the second biggest post-harvest kiwifruit operator, packing about 19% of the crop.

It's also the largest fully grower-owned kiwifruit cooperative.

The company is forecasting a $15.8 million pre-tax profit for the current financial year, which is more than 40% higher than last year.

Chief executive Tony Hawken says operational improvements and reduced waste were the main factors in that, along with a 27%increase in its kiwifruit supply.

He says PSA did not affect it too much this harvest, but will definitely have more of an impact in the 2012 harvest when there will be a different financial scenario.

Eastpack will be paying growers a 30 cents per tray rebate for 2011.