Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit February 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

When packing season comes around, they all have their own flavour – some challenges we can control and others we can’t. For example, the global tension as Russia invades Ukraine doesn’t seem to be doing much for the price of fuel. Then there is the challenge of the ever-changing Covid pandemic rules. Some countries are opting to soften or remove rules, yet others are pursuing an elimination strategy. Either way the pandemic rules have caused staff shortages, compliance issues and inflationary tension.

However, when we reflect on last year there are areas that we believe we need to control differently. One of these is our harvest maturity criteria. Over the last three years we have based a lot of our decisions on the percentage of brix when fully ripe (PBWFR), brix and then pressure.

PBWFR is calculated using the following formula:

PBWFR formula

Last year we found that orchards that were carrying large crop loads invariably had lower dry matter. The relationship between a low dry matter and an average brix produced an abnormally high PBWFR. For example, consider these two samples which both have a brix of 11 as shown in the table below:

SampleBrixDry matterPBWFR
1.1115 (low)92
2.1119 (high)67

PBWFR works well if there is a relative relationship between dry matter and brix in lines of fruit. Sample 1 above is much higher than our target range of 70 to 85 PBWFR. The danger is harvesting this line of fruit at the wrong time. When you have such a wide difference in dry matter, we feel there is a need to default back to brix, then firmness and finally PBWFR to make the right decision.

I have been involved in many seasons now, and I would have learnt the most from the season that has just passed than any previous seasons. With the volume of fruit increasing there will be many more learnings as we further understand how to use the tools we have, to produce the best outcome for the grower and the consumers going forward.

Trevelyan News Feb 2022

Operations Update

John Lewitt
Operations Manager

Operations Update Feb 2022Our latest forecast indicates we will pack 18.4m trays of kiwifruit this season. 12.5m trays of this volume is SunGold (including 1.6m trays of organic) and just under 6m trays of Hayward Green (including 0.4m trays of organic). We are also packing a small volume of both Sweet Green and Ruby Red.

We started packing the first of our Ruby Red in the last week. We were part of the Zespri Red packing trial last season, so we are familiar with packing, cool storing and shipping this variety.  This will be the first year that Ruby Red is packed commercially. SunGold packing looks set to start around a week or so after we get underway with the Ruby Red.

A key focus area in our pre-season preparation has been to ensure we have robust systems and contingency plans in place to deal with the continually changing Omicron environment. We have implemented several initiatives to ensure we provide a safe working environment for our staff and to ensure business continuity during the Omicron peak. One of these initiatives will be to only allow visitors on site that are critical to our business operations. Unfortunately, this means we will not be able to allow growers on site to view their fruit being packed.

As well as the potential impact of Omicron on staffing levels, we still have closed borders and so access to working holiday visa staff is currently extremely limited. These workers historically made up around a quarter of the seasonal workforce in the kiwifruit industry. As a result, we are preparing for staffing levels to be constrained this season.

To minimise the impact these potential labour issues may have on our production capacity, we need clean fruit to be delivered to our site. The biggest impact on our production speeds, and the biggest draw on our labour resources, comes from sooty mould and explosive softs in the SunGold variety and from sooty mould and misshapen fruit in the Hayward Green variety. We would strongly encourage growers to ensure they deal with the above issues in the field now while there is surplus labour available rather than leave it for the packhouse staff to deal with at a time when we are at the peak of our harvest and packing season (and potentially at the peak of the Omicron wave), and labour is at its most constrained.


Trevelyan’s Managed Orchards

Orchard Management For Next Season – Preparation And Planning Is Critical

At Trevelyan’s Managed Orchards (TMO), we have had a great start to the fruit growing season. Despite all the challenges around labour, we managed to get all orchards flower bud thinned before pollination by focusing on the properties that had the highest need first. We have since completed a second sweep through to tidy up the numbers, so we match the requirements defined in the orchard management plans. Consequently, the crops are looking really good, and the canopies are looking healthy across the portfolio.

This did not happen by accident, it required good staff numbers and planning and procurement of those staff before we needed them. We have employed a dedicated labour co-ordinator for TMO which is an investment that has paid off as we are able to procure and deal with staff.

Our strategy is to directly employ our staff where possible, so they are accountable to our managers rather than the labour hire companies we deal with. We find that even using those contractor labour suppliers, our permanent staff still need to supervise and train the staff provided by them, so we may as well employ people directly and try to build some constancy into our teams. So far it is working well for us.

From next winter we are looking for more orchards to manage. We have capacity within our current team so would like to reach out to growers and ask – if you are considering orchard management for the next growing season, please get in touch now and let us know because as mentioned, planning is key. We would be happy to meet with you and discuss what we offer with no obligation. We can let you know how we operate, provide you with information that you may require, answer any questions you may have, and if you decide you think that we can handle your management for you next year, we can start planning staff requirements and allocation/recruitment for you.

Historically, if growers are looking to move to management the following season, they tend to wait until after harvest before they make those orchard management decisions. But with the demands for staff we have this year (and we don’t think it will be any easier next season), we are asking growers to come forward now so we can ensure we hit next winter with the resource we need to get the job done.

For more information on orchard management please call Adam Franklin 027 537 0016 or Dan McKenney 027 214 8692.




Phil Allison
Information Systems Manager

Independent Laboratory Testing

The independent lab maturity testing charges for 2022 have been released. The increases average around 6.5% and are driven by CPI and minimum wage adjustments. In Gisborne sampling costs have increased more, primarily because of greater labour cost increases in this area. These charges include sample collection, sample testing, and sample reporting. They exclude GST.




Bay of PlentyOpotikiWaikatoGisborneHawkes Bay
Hayward Kiwistart$378.69$394.92$423.71$448.39$324.44
Hayward Mainpack$394.15$410.39$439.17$450.94$352.86
Gold3 Kiwistart$675.09$693.38$766.00$735.30$613.74
Gold3 Mainpack$694.43$712.72$785.34$765.97$647.42
Green14 Mainpack$430.90$447.14$475.92$510.52$392.70
Red19 Mainpack$432.90$449.14$477.92$515.82$390.90


This season the cut-off for sample collection requests is 4.00pm on the day before the sample is to be collected. Results will be released in bulk at around noon on the day after sample collection. As in last season, no partial results will be visible before this time.

Kiwistart Volumes

The volumes of fruit Zespri are planning to harvest under Kiwistart criteria this season has been released.

Fruit GroupTypeMarket Access RequiredDatesVolume planned
GACKFPPOk for China, Japan, or EuropeUp to 15 March10,000,000
GACKFPP or AllocationOk for China, Japan, or Europe16 March to 22 March15,000,000*
GACKAllocationAny23 March to 29 March15,000,000*
GACKAllocationAny30 March to 5 April9,000,000**
GACKAllocationAny6 April to 12 April4,000,000

* This includes 8,000,000 trays of flexible allocation

** This includes 2,000,000 trays of flexible allocation

Fruit GroupTypeMarket Access RequiredDatesVolume planned
GAOBFPPOk for USA, Japan, or EuropeUp to 29 March400,000


Fruit GroupTypeMarket Access RequiredDatesVolume planned
HWCKFPPOk for China, Japan, or Europe19 March to 8 April8,000,000
HWCKAllocationAny9 April to 15 April6,000,000
HWCKAllocationAny16 April to 22 April3,000,000
HWCKAllocationAny23 April to 29 April2,000,000
HWCKAllocationAny30 April to 6 May2,000,000
HWCKAllocationAny7 May to 13 May2,000,000

Note:   For 2022 we can again pack allocations from the last four weeks ahead of time and will be paid the rate for the week fruit is packed in (in previous seasons payment was for the week fruit was allocated to).


Fruit GroupTypeMarket Access RequiredDatesVolume planned
HWOBFPPOk for USA, Japan, or Europe2 April to 29 April750,000
HWOBAllocationAny30 April to 6 May250,000

Trevelyan’s receives a share of any allocations that is in proportion to our crop estimate for the season. FPP (First Past the Post) is where supply is constrained and Zespri take the volume from any supplier who has fruit available.


Gordon Skipage
Head of Technical

Weather Update

What a difference a few weeks can make! When I wrote last month’s newsletter article we were in the throes of another very dry summer with soil moisture levels much dryer than normal. On the 8th of February the Bay of Plenty Times reported that “After three dry summers in a row, groundwater levels are so low we know it will take at least a year of more regular rainfall for these streams to recover” – more evidence that the climate is changing. Fast forward a few weeks and we’ve experienced a couple of significant weather events that have brought wind, rain and high humidity to the regions.

While seasonal rainfall data from 1 November is comparable to previous years (Figure 1), rainfall since 1 January 2022 shows a similar trend to last season – a season which resulted in an “average” dry matter year. Industry also struggled with fruit firmness last season, and early indications from Zespri’s Smart Monitoring data suggests a similar trend for 2022. On a positive note however, “sunshine” measured from 1 January (shown as irradiance) has increased significantly on last year and is comparable to “sunshine” experienced in the two prior (high dry matter) seasons. This will be contributing favourably to dry matter accumulation in fruit.

2021/222020/212019/202018/192017/182016/176-year ave
Period rainfall (1st November – 18th February) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)
 Period rainfall (1st January – 18th February) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)
Period irradiance (1st January – 18th February) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2018/19 (W/m2)

Figure 1. Comparing period weather data (Plant and Food Te Puke) weather station

Monitor Your Dry Matter Girdles

Dry matter girdles are a proven tool to boost dry matter but should only be used if the vine is healthy. Girdles are effective as they restrict the movement of nutrients/carbohydrates to the root zone while the girdle is open. However, the longer the girdle takes to heal, the longer the root zone is lacking resources and may affect the long-term health of the vine. If the plant is showing signs of sickness and/or stress it is best not to girdle the vine.

As this newsletter is published, most girdling rounds will be complete – if your girdles are slow in healing, or you feel your root zone is heavily compromised, consider the following actions to reduce stress and promote health:

  • Wrapping girdle wounds in “plastic” (i.e. a gladwrap type material) is common practice by many growers to speed up the healing process.
  • Reduce the crop load on this year’s crop (ensuring the plant’s resources go into its “health” and not the fruit.
  • Maximise post-harvest leaf condition.
    • Consider applying a foliar fertiliser to improve plant health.
      • Refer to your merchant to discuss what is the best option for you.
    • Use copper sparingly (and at summer rates) while leaf condition is good.
    • Where possible, avoid using copper to drop leaves after harvest.
      • Allowing your vines to drop leaves naturally (senescence) means the plant draws maximum reserves from the leaves, storing them in the roots for maximum benefit at budbreak next spring.

Crop Protection

Wheat bug

The discovery of wireweed, allseed, cudweed or sandspurry in/around the load pad during KiwiGreen monitoring requires “corrective action” in order to be eligible for Zespri’s 0.25c/te incentive.

Now is the last chance to spray weeds around your loadout pad with herbicide. If you leave spraying too close to the start of harvest, wheat bug often enters picking bins as they look for a new habitat. Alternatively, you can manually remove the weeds, but make sure you keep photographic evidence as this may be audited during your next ZespriGAP audit, and ensure you record your action in the Spray Diary within 21 days.

Clean-up sprays

Many growers apply a clean-up spray immediately prior to harvest to remove light staining (tannins) off the fruit. So, what are your choices?

  • Kiwistart
    • Clean-up sprays are often not required during the Kiwistart period as leaf quality is good and the fruit is not stained from tannins produced as leaves deteriorate later in the season.
    • Calcium phosphate/phosphoric acid cleaners such as CP Clean™ are good options for early harvested fruit.
      • Cleaning is completed once the product is dry.
      • Application rate of 5L/1000L – applied at 1500L water/ha in both directions (total 3000L water/ha minimum).
    • Citric acid is an effective option, but there are occasional reports of some stains “re-staining” in coolstore.
      • Citric acid remains the only option available for organic growers.
      • Application rate 5kg/1000L – applied at 1500L water/ha in both directions (total 3000L water/ha minimum).
    • Mainpack
      • Apply phosphate buffered lactic acid products such as Jewel Clean LF™ or KiwiLustre LF™ to remove the heavier staining often experienced later in the season.
        • Longer acting – typically takes a few days to be fully effective, therefore applications 2-3 days before harvest during good drying is recommended.
        • Due to the abrasive nature of these products leaf quality may decline after use, therefore it is not recommended for use during the Kiwistart period.
        • Application rate of 5L/1000L – applied at 1500L water/ha in both directions (total 3000L water/ha minimum).
      • Citric acid is recommended for organic growers.
        • Application rate 5kg/1000L – applied at 1500L water/ha in both directions (total 3000L water/ha minimum).

    And remember:

    • Lift fruit above 1.5m to avoid fruit being damaged through contact with sprayers and/or harvest bins/tractors.
      • If you have large areas of low hanging fruit (i.e. low structures throughout the orchard), consider not spraying at all as the benefit of a clean-up spray may be compromised by large numbers of damaged fruit).
    • Best practice is to apply in split applications – two passes of 1500L water/ha (3000L water total) in opposite directions to improve coverage of fruit. Complete the second pass while first is still wet.
    • Clean-up sprays are ineffective at removing sooty mould or stains caused by heavy metals in your water supply.

    Thinking Ahead – Post-Harvest Crop Protection

    Spraying agrichemicals near non-harvested blocks can be risky, so special attention must be paid to possible contamination risks arising from spray drift and/or not cleaning spray tanks out effectively.


    Apply copper (at summer rates) immediately after harvest to protect fruit stalks from Psa. Fruit stalks provide a huge number of entry points for Psa to infect the vine.

    You may also consider applying Actigard (200g/ha) with your copper to add extra protection against Psa. Actigard requires good leaf condition for it to be taken up into the plant, so has little value late in the season once leaf condition deteriorates (so will not be an option for late harvested vines).

    KiwiVax is another Psa control option for both organic and conventional growers. It is recommended that you follow a “programme” of KiwiVax applied as a root drench up to three times a year through spring and/or autumn. Because of its biological nature you will probably not notice a difference in plant health if you apply a single application. As it’s a live organism, it’s best to apply while the soil temperature exceeds 10°C.

    Aureo Gold is not listed in the Zespri Crop Protection Standard for use post-harvest, but growers wanting to use it should apply to Zespri for a Justified Approval.


    If you had a problem with scale this year, consider applying Movento with DuWett after harvest while leaf condition is good. Adding Kwicken (a penetrant) to the tank will improve the uptake of Movento into the leaf, therefore improving efficacy. You’ll need to apply another scale spray in spring but applying Movento now has shown to reduce scale pressure the following spring and helps take the pressure off during a busy spring spray window.

    Please note that this application is considered “off-label” and will require a Justified Approval from Zespri. Do not apply within five days of copper.

    Farewell To Phil

    Phil AllisonAnd finally from me, a sincere farewell to Phil Allison – a stalwart of Trevelyan’s and the industry for the past 18 years. Phil’s knowledge of “all things kiwifruit” is outstanding and I wish him well on his future endeavours.

Dave Parson

Dave Parson
Grower Services Manager

3.2.1… Go

Greetings, thanks to Mike for filling in last month. By the time you read this I will have contacted you and completed your Pre-Harvest Checklist. If I haven’t, please call me! As harvest currently stands, we have submitted Red 19 for residue and monitoring samples, and harvesting has recently begun.

Staff are also busy updating our crop estimates from flower to actual fruit counts. Earlier estimates saw our volume of GAOB increase by 500,000 to 1.7m trays, and HWOB remain static around 350,000 trays. The increase in GAOB is driven mainly by an increase in orchards completing their BioGro conversion.

Zespri recently held an online Organic Webinar – Future Outlook, in which Zespri CEO Dan Matheson and others provided an update of last year’s market performance and then a question-and-answer session. It has been posted onto Canopy and can be accessed by clicking here.

Key points were:

  • Organic SunGold sales increased in volume by 61.5% over the previous year from 1.5m – 2.4m trays, while conventional rose 12.8%.
  • 2022 is the first year that Zespri expect more GAOB than HWOB volume.
  • After receiving no GAOB fruit last season, 150,000 trays are destined for China this season. There will be no HWOB sent as demand is not currently high and greater premiums can be earned in other markets.
  • While the HWOB volumes are predicted to remain static, GAOB will increase to around 6m trays in 2026/27, with expected manageable growth being around 600,000 trays annually.
  • Zespri are continuing to monitor illegal plantings in China and are using a three-pronged strategy of legal avenues, consultation with government at all levels, as well as distributors and consumers to protect shelf space. Volumes are not expected to be an issue for the next five years, but Zespri will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Zespri will use strong communication with the industry as their first means of dissuading the oversupply of GAOB because of the loss of Hi-Cane, and as yet there has been no discussion around the restriction of conventional orchards to organic conversion.

Just a few timely reminders for the upcoming harvest:

  • To be eligible for the KiwiGreen incentive of .25c/tray, growers must ensure that any relevant sprays are entered into their Spray Diary within 21 days of application. If you are a grower who relies on external applicators, I suggest either checking yourself or ensuring that they notify you when the spray has been entered.
  • Irrespective of who enters details in your Spray Diary, it must have a final submission and be cleared prior to a Zespri Clearance Sample being submitted. This is to ensure that no hidden fishhooks exist that may prevent you from harvesting e.g. an undetected withholding period.
  • Your residue result lasts for a period of 42 days from date of collection, with OB crops requiring a residue result prior to harvesting.
  • Residue results take between 7-10 working days, on average to be processed.
  • This season samples must be entered into the Zespri Maturity Clearance System (MCS) no later than 4.00pm the day prior to the requested sample collection date, with Zespri releasing results around 12pm the day after the date of collection.
  • Ensure that you have access to the MCS via the Zespri Canopy website, as this is where you can check that your Rep has entered a Residue / Clearance Sample and check your results. It also enables you to access last year’s results. Simply enter the site and click on the “Sample List & Results” tab and change the year to 2021.

Just a note of farewell to Phil Allison who has decided to retire to the sunny climes of Maketu after a couple of decades with the company, most notably as our previous Kiwifruit Technical Manager. Phil could always be counted on to provide an honest assessment of a situation, with a wit drier than a Saharan breeze. All the best Phil, please keep your phone on, one last harvest!

Finally, there has been a lot of discussion around the upcoming harvest, with concerns around labour, Omicron and let us not forget the weather. But rest assured that there are a great number of people working hard to ensure your harvest progresses as smoothly as possible.


Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

Orchard Carbon Emissions

Last month I wrote about carbon neutral kiwifruit, why we need it, what it could look like and what we are doing at Trevelyan’s to support these efforts.

Trevelyan’s have been successful in moving to the Request for Proposal stage (RFP) in Zespri’s Zero Carbon kiwifruit trial.  We are keen to see meaningful progress and to support our growers to make changes in this space.

As part of ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change, New Zealand has set a target of reducing our emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, to help limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels. We all have a broader responsibility to contribute to wider efforts to reduce emissions.

Reducing Orchard Emissions

Zespri calculated the carbon impact of each stage in the kiwifruit supply chain based on the 2017 crop. This revealed that orchards contribute 6% of total emissions, alongside the packhouse and cool store which contribute 11%. Together we can have a substantial impact on reducing the overall emissions from the kiwifruit supply chain.

If you are wondering where to start on your orchard, then the following chart should give you a good idea.

What stands out immediately is that fertilisers provide the most significant contribution to orchard carbon emissions. Fertiliser use creates emissions from two sources. The first is embodied emissions from the fertiliser manufacture process. The second source is field emissions from ammonia volatilisation (urea fertilisers) and denitrification to nitrous oxide (non-urea fertilisers). Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent and long-lived greenhouse gas with 300 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

The Nitrogen (N) in fertiliser is also the main leaching risk for freshwater quality. This is because nitrogen applied to, or already present, in the soil is converted to nitrates (NO3 ), which are not strongly held by the soil and are therefore readily leached into water as it drains down through the soil profile.

Efforts to limit fertiliser use will go a long way to reducing carbon emissions as well as leachate runoff. The reduction in emissions will be further enhanced if less fertilser means less fuel use.

In 2021 Zespri’s Global Extension Team ran a series of workshops on “Nutrient Knowhow” which included a workbook to calculate the required nitrogen inputs for your orchard. The workbook is available on Canopy.

Zespri Nutrient Know-How Workshop BookletNitrogen Balance Sheet









 This is a great place to start to ensure that fertiliser inputs on your orchard are optimised.

Pricing Carbon Emissions

Pricing agricultural emissions is also a priority for the Government as agriculture is the only sector that is not currently in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). He Waka Eke Noa – the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership is a collective commitment between Government, industry, and Māori.  It was formed in response to proposed Government policy to bring agriculture into the NZ ETS and to the challenges posed by climate change.

He Waka Eke Noa is designing an alternative pricing system to the NZ ETS for agricultural emissions such as those associated with fertiliser. This system will apply to horticulture and HortNZ are representing the industry in these negotiations. Such a pricing system may soon provide additional incentives for growers to take actions to reduce their emissions.

If you have any comments or feedback on this issue, please get in touch by emailing



Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

Stand By – Harvest Is Coming

Your Directors, at their February meeting, were briefed on planning and preparedness for what is going to be a very challenging harvest time over the next few months, both on orchard and in the packhouse.

We welcomed Paul Singleton to his first meeting as our Associate Director for the 2022 calendar year. It is pleasing to see this role being utilised as a step towards standing to become a fully elected Director.

The 2022 draft Supply Agreement was reviewed. Once finalised it will be sent to all growers for signing. Please give your reading and signing of this important agreement your priority at that time.

In most aspects of community, where possible, working from home is becoming increasingly the norm and the safest way to minimise risk. This is both for the individual as well as for the workplace.  The kiwifruit industry, as a food supplier, has special status within the Covid regulations, as it should. We each have a role to play in ensuring our orchard protocols, and our packhouse protocols, are respected and protected. That way the risks of exposure to the pandemic and the consequential restrictions, especially on labour availability, are minimised.

In my writings this month last year I wrote – With all New Zealand, at the time of writing, returning to an increased Covid level of living we need to be caring for each other, not just within our community but across communities. May we each make our contribution to the health of our people by observing correct protocols and respecting all people we come into contact with. Stay safe.

It still applies to this year and I wonder if it will still apply this time next year?


Colin Olesen – Chair


Upcoming Events

Zespri Pre-Harvest Webinar – Monday 14th March – 5pm

The Zespri Pre-Harvest team are hosting an online Microsoft Teams Meeting event to cover what growers need to know ahead of the 2022 harvest. This will also provide growers with insight into the upcoming changes to the Zespri GAP Programme and Freshwater Farm Planning regulations. On the agenda:

  • The plan for the year GAP refresh work and changing regulations
  • Crop protection changes you need to know
  • Protection from residue issues this season
  • An update for the plan ahead for the current issues regarding labour compliance

Click here to register.


Zespri Grower Roadshow

CEO Dan Mathieson, NZKGI and KVH invite you to their first round of grower roadshows which commenced in late February. They’ll be providing an update on COVID-19 and the protocols our industry needs to embrace, and also be discussing the 2022 licence release, season planning and ZGS.

As per the COVID-19 Protection Framework, numbers for each event are capped and growers will need to present their vaccine pass for entry.

Click here to register.

Thursday 3rd March

Hawkes Bay

The Crown Hotel

Cnr Bridge St and Hardinge Rd, Napier

8.30am – 10.30am


Tatapouri Fishing Club,

54 Esplanade, Gisborne

4.00pm – 6.00pm
Friday 4th March


Opotiki Gold Club

14 Fromow Rd, Opotiki

9.30am – 11.30am


Matata Rugby Club

12 Division Street, Matata

2.00pm – 4.00pm
Monday 7th March


Fairview Golf & Country Club

34 Sharp Road, Aongatete, Katikati

9.30am – 11.30am


Trustpower Baypark

81 Truman Lane, Mount Maunganui

6.00pm – 8.00pm
Tuesday 8th March

Online Event

Microsoft Teams Meeting

6.00pm – 8.00pm
Wednesday 9th March

Te Puke

The Orchard Church

20 Macloughlin Drive, Te Puke

9.30am – 11.30am