Optimism in the orchard: The journey of Central Otago’s cherries

Optimism in the orchard: The journey of Central Otago’s cherries

Central Otago cherries
The export of 340 tons is expected
Central Otago cherries

Southern Fruits International, a New Zealand cherry producer, anticipates doubling its luxury cherry exports this summer to around 340 tons. As reported by the local media, Rural News Group, their beyond brand cherries, cultivated across two large orchard developments in Central Otago spanning over 160 hectares, will mark its second commercial year.

Sharon Kirk, the company’s founder and marketing manager, expresses optimism due to strong pre-season interest from Asian markets and new ventures in the Middle East and the United States. Pre-sales at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show in Hong Kong last September garnered significant attention, boosting confidence in their brand.

Favorable pre-season conditions and maturing trees, now three to four years old, contribute to increased fruit load and size, promising an exceptional harvest with high sugar content. Harvesting begins with early varieties and extends until late January or early February, with the aim to supply Asian markets in time for Christmas.

Expansion efforts include developing markets in the United States, the Middle East, and Asia, with a particular focus on emerging markets like Thailand. Chinese preferences have shifted towards smaller fruit sizes and smaller packaging options this year.

In addition to exports, the company also caters to the domestic market through online sales and partnerships with local retailers, ensuring availability of premium cherries throughout the season, particularly during the festive period.

Read the full article here

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