7 May 2013

EastPack facing another drop in harvest

6:55 pm on 7 May 2013

New Zealand's biggest kiwifruit packer and supplier is expecting a further drop in this year's harvest due to the combined effects of drought and the PSA bacterial vine disease.

EastPack, which merged with another post-harvest operator Satara this year, packed fewer than 19 million export trays in 2012 compared with more than 21 million in 2011.

Chief executive Tony Hawken says this year's crop will also be down on earlier estimates.

However, he says the company's new crop programme is making headway in replacing the 3.5 million trays of 16A gold kiwifruit lost to the vine-killing disease.

Mr Hawken says he expects crop volumes to rise again by about 2015.