25 May 2009

Zespri ditches plans to hold back kiwifruit

6:48 am on 25 May 2009

Zespri has ditched plans to hold back 1.5 million trays of kiwifruit from export this season, because so much of the crop has already been damaged by recent hailstorms.

Earlier this month the kiwifruit marketer was asking growers to leave fruit unharvested in an attempt to balance supply and demand on the export market and protect prices.

Zespri chief financial officer Merv Dallas says there is no need to continue with these plans because an estimated 2.5 million trays has been damaged by hail.

Mr Dallas estimates a further 75,000 trays of kiwifruit will not be harvested, either because growers will have already proceeded with plans to remove some of their crop from production, or because the fruit is not of export quality.