13 Dec 2010

Marlborough cherries being sent to Japan

12:42 pm on 13 December 2010

Cherries from Marlborough are being sent to Japan this season for the first time in more than a decade.

Japan has approved exports from the region without the need for fruit to be fumigated with methyl bromide.

The last time Marlborough cherries were sent there was in the early 1990s, but growers stopped the trade because the fumigation process was spoiling the fruit.

Cherrybank Orchard is the first site in Marlborough to take advantage of the new export opportunity.

Grower Bernie Rowe says he has sent nearly four tonnes to the Japanese market over the past two weeks.

He already exports a third of his crop to other Asian countries, but says Japan could potentially be one of his biggest markets.

He describes this season as very good for growing cherries in Marlborough.