Thursday, 10 December 2020 12:55

Summerfruit industry thanks New Zealand

Written by  Staff Reporters
Summerfruit NZ are thanking New Zealanders who are helping out during the harvest. Summerfruit NZ are thanking New Zealanders who are helping out during the harvest.

Summerfruit NZ is thanking New Zealand for its response to the call for help with this season’s harvest.

Due to the pandemic, a lack of backpackers and RSE workers created concern that there would be a shortage of people keen on working in the regions to supplement local workers at harvest time.

Summerfruit NZ collaborated with Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), other organisations, councils and HortNZ to raise public awareness of the shortage through the Handpicked and Opportunity Grows campaigns.

Richard Palmer, Summerfruit NZ’s chief executive, says he is thankful that New Zealanders have stepped up and responded in greater numbers than hoped for.

“The response overall across the summerfruit regions of Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago has been fantastic and many growers and packers have received far more applications than they would normally expect at this time of year,” Palmer said.

However, there are still orchards that are having difficulty in attracting sufficient numbers of people.

“Keeping people on board for the full cherry crop and then the other summerfruit crops is a major concern,” he said.

Palmer says that, previously, students have worked through to mid to late January with international backpackers taking over.

“We need to make sure the incentives are there to keep people employed as long as the work is available,” he said.

Summerfruit NZ says it expects that the recent appointment of Tracey Mansfield as the new Central Otago seasonal labour coordinator will help smooth the fluctuations in demand for workers.

More like this

New boss sets priorities

Labour issues will be the key focus for Summerfruit NZ's new chief executive Kate Hellstrom during the coming 12 months.

New Summerfruit NZ chair

Summerfruit NZ's new chair says the biggest problems facing growers are the ongoing labour shortage and the difficulty getting produce to overseas markets due to the logistics crisis caused by Covid-19.

Sector needs to tackle challenges

Summerfruit NZ's immediate past president Tim Jones says the sector needs to own up to the fact that it's built businesses based on migrant labour.

Not a very cherry start!

What was expected to be a bumper cherry crop this year has been badly hit by untimely wet weather.

Cherry crop takes a beating

Central Otago cherry growers have been dealt another blow, with heavy rain earlier this month causing major damage to matured fruit.


Marketing blast for Rockit

Gaining momentum from the global roll-out of its new brand in July, NZ fruit company Rockit has recently launched its…

Zespri celebrates in style

The contribution of NZ's kiwifruit industry came in for some high praise at a special function at Parliament, just before…

Keeping NZ kids healthy!

New Zealand's fresh fruit and vegetable sector has signed a new two-year deal with the Government to continue supplying produce…

Machinery & Products

Smart way to bumper crops

With kiwifruit being the "go to" good food of the 21st century, it was inevitable that orchard prices would skyrocket.

Taking spud harvest to next level

With more than 40 years of two and four-row self-propelled harvester production behind them, the latest Dewulf harvester - imported…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Murky waters

OPINION: Your canine crusader knows there is a great deal of unease - especially in rural NZ - about the…


OPINION: The refusal of both Damien O'Connor and PM Jacinda Ardern to release some of the correspondence they received about…

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter