Marlborough producers grateful for good weather

Marlborough producers grateful for good weather

New Zealand
Earnings were forecast to grow 14% to $96m, in the year to June 2024.
New Zealand

In the run-up to Christmas, Blair McLean said hundreds of tonnes of cherries were being harvested each day from his family’s Cherrybank Orchard near Spring Creek. Professional pickers started on November 20. This was a great season with fine weather in November and December and good local prices, he said.

The orchard was covered, to keep out rain which could split cherries, and to hasten ripening. The change to drier El Niño conditions meant irrigating trees, but that was more than made up for by the excellent harvest. For six or seven years, no Marlborough cherries had been exported, McLean said. Cherrybank was the last Marlborough orchard to send fruit overseas and for the first time this year, was not licenced to export.

Selling in New Zealand was less profitable than exporting “but it’s still pretty good money” with cherries, until recently, in short supply, McLean said.

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Situation and Outlook predicted a strong future for New Zealand horticulture with forecast export revenue rising to $8.19 billion by 2025. Cherries were an increasingly promising crop with export revenue up 8% to $84 million in the year to June 2023, due to orchard expansion. Earnings were forecast to grow 14% to $96m, in the year to June 2024.

Via: Fresh Plaza

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