Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit December 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

The Year That Was

As I sit at my desk the week before Christmas writing the January newsletter, I cannot help but reflect on the year that has passed. There were obviously some real highlights, bumps in the road, and predicaments that had us all wondering- what is next?!!

The year started with hesitancy. Whilst the emergency phase of the pandemic was over, we were all still living with the multiple ways COVID-19 had impacted our environment. We struggled to get materials and labour to build our new coolstores – they took twice as long to build and cost almost twice as much to what we had expected, and the competition for labour in the season pushed post-harvest labour costs up even further!

If that wasn’t enough- physical damage and explosive fruit received in the packhouse doubled from the previous year and then there was the frost…

However, as we always do- we listened to the best and the brightest in the industry (many of those individuals are part of the Trevelyan’s team), our growers, and we remained agile in the face of uncertainty.

During harvest we had a very successful system of sharing labour between the field and the packhouse, providing opportunities of continuous employment for our community. We buffer stored 22,000 bins of G3, with great results, and Trevelyan growers OGR’s ended up with a great result due mainly to lower fruitloss than the industry.

Positive change is happening. An industry quality action plan is now put together, the industry is moving to increase the maturity of fruit at kiwistart time, and an explosive fruit charge has been socialised to all growers for 2023.

What we can’t change is the weather and we need to understand the cards  the weather is playing in the growing calendar, and how to react. 

In total, Zespri has shipped more than 160 million trays of New Zealand-grown Zespri Kiwifruit this season. I look forward to the upcoming season and using our learnings from 2022 to make progress in 2023.


Trevelyan's News - John Lewitt

John Lewitt
Head of Operations and Logistics

Operations Update

We have now completed all our shipping of kiwifruit for the year, and our final fruit loss figures are detailed below. Trevelyan’s has performed well compared to the industry in what has been a challenging season for fruit quality. Despite this strong result, our fruit loss was still higher than the 2021 season for both Hayward and SunGold.

We have several initiatives underway to ensure we reverse this trend. Specifically, we have a strong focus on ensuring that the volume of explosive fruit, fruit with physical damage-including cuts and punctures, that arrives at our facility is significantly lower than in 2022.




The pollen harvest season also concluded in early December with the variable bud break and wet weather making for a challenging season. Despite these challenges, we milled over 12,000 kgs of flowers from which 112 kgs of pollen was extracted, which is slightly up on the 2021 volume of 107 kgs of pollen.

Our preparation and planning for the 2023 Kiwifruit season are now well advanced. Our new CA stores will be fully commissioned and up and running with the capacity to store 8,640 bins. We will also continue to run our bin store programme next season. In 2022 we stored over 20,000 bins in bin store, and we will have capacity to store at least that volume again in 2023.
Our automation project in Packhouse 4 is still on track for completion prior to the harvest commencing. The bag inserters, conveyors and box closers are currently being installed, with the gentle box fillers already in place.

Industry Update - Debbie Robinson

Debbie Robinson
Head of Supply

2023 Indicative Period 1 Rates

The following Period 1 rates have been approved by all Industry groups, (KGI, ISG and IAC). The 2023 rates are less than the 2022 rates. This is due to the removal of significant commercial uplifts that were required in 2022, to ensure sufficient fruit was packed early, and to manage the risks of a COVID-19 environment that included severe labour shortages and shipping concerns.

The Period 1 model is underpinned by what a grower is foregoing in terms of taste and size. The Period 1 subgroup was given strong direction from IAC as part of the quality action plan that the commercial drivers, particularly Kiwistart and Time payments, should be rebalanced to provide appropriate commercial incentives for the right fruit to be harvested at the right time.

When assessing the appropriate commercial incentives for the 2023 Period 1 rates the following were considered:

  • Signalling strongly to growers (that are not naturally early start growers) that they should change their growing and harvest decisions from pushing for Kiwistart and instead, focusing on growing good quality, long storing fruit.
  • The fruit procured during the early weeks of Kiwistart is valuable to the industry in terms of getting the fruit to the markets to kickstart sales campaigns and set the selling season up well. It is important to consider the continuity of supply throughout the entire Kiwistart period. It is therefore vital that there are sufficient incentives for growers supplying fruit in this period.
  • The fact that some growers in the final weeks of Kiwistart will not only consider taste and size forgone by harvesting earlier, but also the potential net time earnings they could earn. Kiwistart rates should reflect this alternative earning potential in the later weeks.








Technical Info - Pronoy

Pranoy Pal 
Kiwifruit Technical Manager

Industry Best Practices for the 2023 Season

The 2022 harvest season has been particularly difficult for the industry with dramatic increases in the levels of Non-Pathogenic Fungal Growth (NPFG), Physical Damage Rots and Superficial Skin Rub (SSR) reported both onshore and by customers. Recent correspondence from Zespri indicates that there is ‘zero tolerance’ for poor quality fruit in 2023 and onwards and supplying poor-quality fruit will result in significant decreases in demand and pricing.

In response to fruit quality issues experienced by the industry and Zespri customers, a seven-point quality action plan was launched by the Zespri Industry Advisory Council. Read more in Kiwiflier here.

  1. Understanding the causes of poor-quality fruit
  2. Rebalancing commercial drivers/incentives
  3. Communicating best practice for growing and harvesting premium fruit
  4. Assessing fruit flow decision making from end-to-end
  5. Keeping poor-quality fruit onshore via Zespri onshore quality assurance
  6. Assessing supplier accountability – commercials and consistency
  7. Improving transparency of in-market information on quality and costs

It is agreed that fruit quality is a combined responsibility of the grower, harvest contractor, postharvest, and Zespri.


Fruit quality, however, starts on the orchard and there’s much the grower can do including:

  • Maintain a ‘moderate’ cropload and carefully review the need for girdling as these practices add stress to the vine (stress may cause the vine to abort fruit through summer as it runs low on reserves).
  • Limit the number of ‘nutritional’ foliar fertilisers applied through summer (research is limited on their benefit and we don’t actually know what’s in them).
  • Reducing ‘over fertilising’ and follow the “4R principle” of crop nutrient management – applying the right fertiliser at the right amount, right time, right place, and the right formulation.
  • Maintain an open canopy through summer – avoiding dark patches is important.
  • Monitor your orchard in the weeks leading up to harvest, removing explosive fruit and those with shrivelled stalks (explosive fruit is often preceded by shrivelled stalks).
  • Remove explosives at harvest – work with your picking gang to minimize the number of explosive fruit in a picking bin (supervision is key).
  • Maintain a strong Psa preventative programme all season long.
  • Promote best picking practices-
    • Use a Trevelyan’s “preferred harvest contractor” – with a focus on quality, these contractors are some of the best in the industry and pick to an extremely high standard.
    • Talk to your grower rep if you are keen to utilise a “preferred harvest contractor” for 2023.
    • Eliminate ‘rain picking’ from your orchard – rain picking causes bruising and cuts to fruit.
    • Remove “short stalks” – these stalks damage fruit, which often causes rots in the packed product and are the main cause of repack.
    • Remove picking gloves so that pickers can ‘feel’ (and discard) overripe/soft fruit at picking.
    • Regularly check picking bags for residues of exploded fruit and clean if an overripe has exploded in the bag.

Organic Insights

Bex Astwood
Organic Category Manager

COKA Article

Welcome to the December Kiwifruit newsletter. By the time you read this, I hope you have had a fantastic Christmas break and managed to enjoy some sunshine (fingers crossed)!

Recently, I attended the December Zespri Organics update and was pleased to see so many of our growers there.

Linda Mills spoke about the markets, including how the main growth of organics is in Europe and the USA, and how demand for the 2022 season was ahead for GAOB vs 2021.

David Samuels spoke about the November OGR’s, gross pricing, and market demand. Of interest freight is up 0.64c per tray, and up $1 over the past two years. When looking at the difference between the August (E2) and November (E3) forecasts, the main issues for HWOB were onshore fruit loss and the Japan volume of trays decreasing, while for GAOB it was quality claims, and offshore fruit loss.

Jason Te Brake spoke about fruit quality and the seven-point quality action plan. The existing Supplier Accountability Programme is being reviewed to mitigate poor quality, reward good quality long storing fruit, and improve the consistency of in-market checks.

Key discussions also included the importance of prioritising high paying markets, such as Japan. Suppliers need to understand the importance of packing for these high-demand markets, and growers should be taking proactive steps to provide pest-free fruit.

These are all important themes to have at the front of our minds for the coming season!



   COKA – Certified Organic Kiwifruit Association!   


We recently had a draft strategic planning day for COKA, followed by an interactive session with the COKA members. The plan is still being finalised, however I thought I would share some of the ideas and feedback from the COKA and its members here.

The intention of a strategic plan is to set overall business goals, develop aspirations, and track progress- all of which the collective aims to do. The draft purpose ‘’to inspire and advocate for organic kiwifruit growers’’, and draft mission ‘’to realise sustainable long-term growth and value for organic kiwifruit growers’’, shows the vision of COKA.

We discussed what COKA meant to its members, and the additional resources they were likely to want in the coming years. Shared feedback included.

  • COKA providing a space for organic growers to come together regularly and discuss any questions or issues they may be facing.
  • Growing our membership and providing a culture and environment that is inclusive and engaging.

One of our priorities includes building strong communication channels to share information, provide a common space to share information and opportunities, and offer a variety of events to present knowledge and innovation.

We will also continue to prioritise advocating for organic kiwifruit growers, build strong, sustainable industry partnerships and represent organic growers on industry forums.

It’s a really exciting time for COKA. By putting this framework together, it has amplified what a great team we have, and if you would like to be involved in, please reach out for a chat.

Looking forward to catching up in the New Year!


Sarah Lei
Head of Sustainability

Be a Force for Good

As the year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on how far we have come this year, both in our sustainability efforts and at Trevelyan’s as a whole. Despite our challenges this year, including labour shortages and fruit quality, we have continued with our sustainability journey and made efforts to help guide others on their own path to do more good. For me, some of the 2022 highlights are as follows.


Reduced waste to landfill

We have continued our efforts to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. At the end of November, we were sitting at 4.62% which is a testament to the efforts of everyone on site to help divert more material to recycling and compost.

Supporting our local community

We continued to support our local community, gifting over $65,000 of sponsorship towards local schools, sports clubs, and events. It is such a privilege to be able to support so many great people doing awesome things, just one of the (many) highlights here was supporting the Te Puke Tai Mitchells Girls Rugby Team who went on to win their tournament!

Showcasing Sustainability

As we emerged from COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, we were able to connect with others once again.  We were able to invite visitors to our site to share what we do, and also to attend events.  Some of these included:

– Sustainability presentation at the NZ Vet Club Conference

– Climate Change and Collaboration discussion panel at Green Drinks

– Sustainability tour for 25 staff from Kiwifruit Breeding Centre and Plant and Food

– Visit from 30 up-and-coming Rural Leaders

We also took the opportunity to visit some of our key suppliers and waste organisations that we work with. Some of these included:

– Sustainability group visit to the OJI site at Kinleith

– Sustainability trip to Auckland to visit Miltek, Critical, Future Post and Green Gorilla

– Reciprocal sustainability visits to our G4 partners’ sites in Te Puke



Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you are stuck for Christmas ideas and you would like be a force for good, check out this gift guide from the Sustainable Business Network.




Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

More End of Year Reading

The Trevelyan Orchard Gate Return (OGR) December forecast has been issued to all growers which incorporates, when compared to the industry averages, the excellent onshore fruit loss figures for all varieties. The supplier accountability results for the end of season fruit supplied to market are still to ‘land’, but we expect the end of season results will be good when they are compared to the rest of the industry. 

At our first Directors’ meeting after the Annual General Meeting (AGM), Simon Cook was re-elected Deputy Chair for the next year and I was re-elected Chair. We welcomed Geoff Wylie-Miln to the Board and farewelled our 2022 Associate Director, Paul Singleton. 

We also appointed two Associate Directors for the 2023 calendar year. They are Sarah Jensen and Adam Franklin. These appointments were from five applications – a record! Congratulations Sarah and Adam and we look forward to your participation in our TGL Director meetings in 2023. 

The TGL Board signed off the explosive fruit charge TPCL proposal for the 2023 season. Earlier in the year this had been approved in principle, but further details were worked on and presented to growers for input at a recent growers meeting. Thank you to all growers that attended that meeting to hear the proposal detail and comment on it. 

Your Directors are also addressing the area of harvesting fruit and the quality issues that arise from how the harvesting of fruit is done. Audit figures from the 2022 harvest, as well as prior years, suggests that quality harvesting produces a higher level of quality fruit and also a lower explosive fruit outcome. From this data, a list of preferred harvesting contractors can easily be deduced which your TGL Directors would like to see utilised when growers decide who will harvest their fruit. The TGL Directors will be meeting again in January to finalise policy on this important aspect of achieving the best quality of fruit possible for the market. 

I trust you all have a very happy Christmas and can take some time away from your orchards to enjoy quality time with family and friends. Keep safe and well.

Colin Olesen – Chair


Trevelyan’s 2022 Year in Review

Please see the click the link HERE to see the key highlights Trevelyan’s had in 2022.