15 Nov 2011

Tauranga kiwifruit company optimistic

7:08 am on 15 November 2011

Tauranga-based kiwifruit company Te Awanui Huka Pak says Maori shareholders are fortunate that the vine killing disease Psa has only had a minor effect on their orchards.

It's now a year since the bacterial disease was first confirmed on a block of gold kiwifruit just south of Te Puke.

Since then the virulent strain Psa V has infected 90% of gold and more than half of green kiwifruit orchards in the Te Puke district and cost the industry millions of dollars.

Huka Pak's chief executive Hemi Rolleston says the isolated location of the company's orchards has been a plus in keeping the disease at bay.

He says the company is optimistic the upcoming harvest in the next four to five months should yield high prices because of distribution into some premium markets based on the lower volume of kiwifruit available.

Mr Rolleston says Te Awanui Huka Pak is confident the company will survive the Psa disease and be stronger as a result.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," he says.