9 Feb 2012

Apple packaging shortage should be avoided

6:02 am on 9 February 2012

Pipfruit New Zealand thinks a packaging shortage has been avoided for this season's apple exports.

A fire last month badly damaged the Hawk Packaging factory in Hastings, one of the manufacturers of the moulded trays used in apple cartons.

As a result, apple pack-houses raised concerns about a possible shortage of trays when packing for export starts soon.

But Pipfruit NZ says alternative arrangements should cover their packaging needs for the export crop, which at an estimated 16.5 million cartons, will be about the same as last season.

Chief executive Peter Beaven says two companies make the trays. Hawk Packaging is one of them and has 50% market share.

Mr Beaven says they have been in talks with the other company, Huhtamaki, to see if they can produce extra packaging.

He says they will also be able to import some trays and growers should be able to get over the crisis of the short supply that could have occurred.