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New Zealand Apples And Pears: 600,000 Tonnes Expected This Season

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As the apple and pear production seasons in New Zealand gradually unfold, the industry expects this year to be a big year for production. However, the shortage of picking labor is the biggest challenge at present. According to the New Zealand Apple and Pear Industry Association (NZAPI), the total production of apples and pears in 2022 is expected to reach 601,000 tons, or about 23.2 million boxes (18kg boxes), which is expected to be exported to more than 80 countries around the world.


"Assuming all apples and pears are picked and packed, exports will be slightly higher than 2020 levels. 2021 exports are down due to hailstorms in the Nelson region the day after Christmas," NZAPI said. said in the announcement. However, this assumption seems overly optimistic. NZAPI chief executive Terry Meikle said the Omicron strain had spread across New Zealand, severely affecting the industry's ability to harvest fruit. "It's critical that the government takes a pragmatic approach and creates uniform and clear rules that allow workers to pick, pack and ship," Meikle said. While NZAPI supports a five-phase reopening of New Zealand's borders to allow overseas workers to enter the harvest, Meikle said it was "too slow, too late" for the 2022 apple and pear seasons. Still, Meikel is optimistic that growers can solve complex operational challenges and harvest high-quality fruit.


“As always, our growers put quality first to ensure consumers have the best eating experience,” Meikle said. "For the labor shortage and the impact of Omicron, most growers are prepared for the worst and hope everything goes well."

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