Tuesday, 07 November 2023 09:25

Climate change no. 1 issue!

Written by  Peter Burke
NZKGI chief executive Colin Bond says climate change is the number one issue for the world’s kiwifruit growers. NZKGI chief executive Colin Bond says climate change is the number one issue for the world’s kiwifruit growers.

For Kiwifruit growers globally, climate change is the number one issue.

That's the view of Colin Bond, chief executive of NZKGI - which represents all of NZ's kiwifruit growers' interests.

He has recently returned from Chile, having attended the annual international conference of kiwifruit growers from most of the world's major kiwifruit growing countries.

Bond told Hort News that while climate change has always been a concern for growers, in the past, labour and costs have been rated ahead of it.

"But at this conference, climate change was seen as the biggest challenge the global industry is facing and is now top of the list."

Bond says every kiwifruit growing region around the world has experienced extreme weather events in the last growing season. He says for NZ it was Cyclone Gabrielle and for other it was extreme heat waves or flooding.

"Growers around the globe are all starting to see the impacts of climate change," he explain.

"The differences may be in Greece where they are starting to expand more, and the Chileans are saying that every ten years, they are moving to locations 100km south, to areas that are cooler and where there is more access to water."

Bond says NZ is not at the point of moving crops to colder regions and the Bay of Plenty will remain the hub of the sector.

However, he adds that SunGold 3 can be grown in a lot of regions around NZ.

With the last two warmer winters in the Bay, some people are looking to the Waikato and Tasman regions, which are colder.

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