Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit January 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

The Ever-Changing Space

When I collect my thoughts together to write the monthly newsletter, I tend to write about what is top of mind at the time. This month I find myself writing about the forthcoming season and the various obstacles we are going to need to navigate through. Apologies for the repetitive theme which has flowed through the last few newsletters.

There are two points that are top of mind – labour for the upcoming season and the ever-changing COVID challenges as Omicron is now circulating in the community.

Both labour and COVID have challenges in that we don’t have total control at what presents on our doorstep. Our staff attraction strategy has been underway now for a few weeks and it appears we are, as expected, slightly down on applicants compared to last year. However, we have been able to attract more RSE workers from other employment partners. As well as our online activity we need to put ourselves in front of staff rather than relying solely on them to come to us.

There has been a lot of discussion across the primary sector regarding COVID, with the Ministry of Health strongly recommending that the hort sector mandate the vaccination of staff. In speaking with others in the primary sector, I sense there is a concern that taking this stance may restrict the ability to staff a seasonal operation. At Trevelyan’s we have spent many hours designing a strategy to screen COVID risk from our site with the use of Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT), as I have written about in a prior newsletter. However, with Omicron now in the community the strategy will probably need to change. We will continue to use the RAT system, but the increased transmissibility has caused us to doubt our current strategy. Within all our discussions there is one theme that keeps coming through, “how do we make Trevelyan’s the safest place in the world to work?” This theme has seen the redesign of multiple areas of the business, from the front gate to the canteen setups.

If we continue with this objective to “make Trevelyan’s the safest place in the world to work”, I am sure we will be able to minimise risk, and it feels like the right thing to be doing. A sense that we can take some control in what seems so often to be an area out of control. We will however, need to stay nimble as the landscape will change.



Phil Allison
Information Systems Manager

Site Development

New Coolstore

We have built another coolstore for the 2022 season, bringing the total static capacity on the Trevelyan’s site up to 11,120,000 trays.

With this capacity, and offsite cool storage that is available to us, there is unlikely to be a need for advanced movement this season.

Controlled Atmosphere Stores

In addition to the new coolstore, we are also building three controlled atmosphere (CA) stores, each with four CA cells. There is now enough buffer storage on site to completely fill the packing window between the end of Gold3 main pack and the start of Hayward main pack. To accommodate ever increasing volumes of Gold3 crop, we are building the first CA stores at Trevelyan’s. Bins stored in a CA store can be stored much longer than in a bin store, so this fruit will be packed at the end of Hayward main harvest.

Construction of these stores has been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, particularly in getting the materials needed out of Auckland, while Auckland was in lockdown. Progress is good now with the expectation they will be available for the 2022 harvest.

15% Supplier Accountability

15% supplier accountability involves extra checking in the markets (15% compared to 5%) and more of the costs of quality sheeted back to the suppliers of the fruit causing in-market costs. The programme is bulk funded with a set per tray payment made and any costs are deducted from this amount.

To date we have results back for Gold3 that includes 16 weeks of shipments to China, ten weeks to Japan, Korea and Taiwan (the Asian markets are served by smaller vessels and containers, so results are reported in 2-week groups), and 11 vessels to Europe.

Market (Trev)#ShipsTrays$$/Tray


Market (Ind)#ShipsTrays$$/Tray

For Hayward there are 12 weeks of shipments to China and Taiwan, eight weeks to Japan and Korea, and nine vessels to Europe.

Market (Trev)#ShipsTrays$$/Tray


Market (Ind)ShipsTrays$$/Tray


Phil Allison
Information Systems Manager

Visiting Zespri Sites

All visitors to any Zespri site will either have to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 (i.e. show a vaccine pass), or provide a rapid antigen test with a negative result.

Orchard Compliance With COVID-19 Protocols

NZKGI continue to update the protocols that allow orchard operations to continue at all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system) to protect workers and their communities. The current NZKGI guidance is here. The controls include tracing (all orchards must have a tracer app QR code displayed, and a book for manual entry by people not using the app), record keeping, physical distancing, gathering restrictions, health checks, and hygiene measures.

For those who are interested, more information on the traffic light system can be viewed here.

Gordon Skipage
Head of Technical

Weather Update

As summer rolls on I always find it interesting to compare weather data for the current season versus previous years. In their seasonal climate outlook January 2022 – March 2022 NIWA predicts the continuation of the current La Nina weather pattern, bringing higher than normal temperatures (80% chance) with average to below average levels of rain (75%). Periods of high pressure will likely cause extended dry spells and high humidity – and brings with it an increased chance of ex-tropical cyclones (including high winds and heavy rains).

Comparing the summer rainfall data from 1 November – 20 January (Figure 1), it is noticeable that rainfall for Te Puke is significantly lower than previous years. Rainfall received since January 1 continues this trend with only 4.4mm received at the Plant and Food Research weather station this year.

 Period rainfall (1 November – 20 January) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17
Rainfall (mm) 2021/22Rainfall (mm) 2020/21Rainfall (mm) 2019/20Rainfall (mm) 2018/19Rainfall (mm) 2017/18Rainfall (mm) 2016/176-year ave rainfall (mm)
 Period rainfall (1 January – 20 January) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17

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

A comparison of NIWA’s Soil Moisture Deficit Map between 2022 and 2021 indicates soils are dryer now than they were this time last year – and significantly dryer that historical averages. With little rain forecast over the next few months it remains critical that vines are irrigated carefully where possible to maximise fruit size and plant health during early/mid-summer.

Niwa Soil Moisture Deficit

Figure 2. NIWA soil moisture deficit map as at 07/02/2022

The Importance Of Irrigation

We now know that kiwifruit vines are more sensitive to water than we thought – too much or too little can have significant effects on the health of the vine and fruit size. When vines don’t get enough water late in the growing season, there is an immediate and irreversible effect on fruit growth which results in smaller fruit at harvest. In the past, some growers only irrigated when leaves were observed wilting in the canopy, but recent work has shown that fruit growth can be affected up to 11 days before kiwifruit leaves show any visible signs of water stress. Applying water once leaves start to wilt is already too late as fruit size at harvest has already been compromised.

Targeting the kiwifruit root zone (typically the top 30-70cm of soil) with regular watering at this time of year is therefore important, as is understanding how much water is actually needed. Hi-tech tensiometers (soil moisture probes) that help determine when to turn irrigation on, and how long to run it for are becoming more commonplace. If you don’t have a soil moisture probe, manual calculations can also be made by determining the effective canopy area and the daily Evapotranspiration (ET) rate (the amount of water lost through evaporation and plant use). More information on this calculation can be found here. If you don’t have your own weather station, ET rates can be found on KVH weather and disease portal here or from Zespri Smart Monitoring orchards here.

For greenfield development sites, remember that young vines have a small root mass in comparison to the canopy size, therefore typically require at least one and a half to two times more water than the standard ET x canopy area calculation would estimate for an established vine.

The Zespri Global Extension Team has developed excellent resources available on the Canopy – visit the ‘Water Management’ page here for more information and tools for improving your production and water use efficiency.

Lifting Those Low Hanging Fruit

In an effort to maximise your returns, now is the time to start checking fruit heights in the orchard, tying up any fruit hanging less than 1.5m from the ground. Fruit hanging lower than this can make contact with sprayers, tractors, bins etc around harvest time which results in flesh damage.

Fresh damage (occurring just prior to harvest) is difficult to grade out at packing and often turns into a rot once packed, increasing repacking and fruit loss during the storage season.

Kiwifruit damage caused by a sprayer

Figure 3. Example of old fruit damage caused by a sprayer in early January. Unlike the damage shown, fresh damage caused immediately prior to harvest (i.e. clean-up sprays) is nearly impossible to grade out during packing.

Crop Protection

We have now entered Zespri’s formal monitoring periods for leafroller and scale meaning that any sprays for these pests require formal monitoring results entered into the Zespri Spray Diary. With Zespri now offering a 25c/tray incentive on meeting KiwiGreen Market Access Requirements, there has been renewed interest on how to achieve KiwiGreen requirements.

KiwiGreen rules have not fundamentally changed. However, there is renewed emphasis on making sure the recommended actions (if an action is required) are undertaken and recorded. In short, if the required action is not undertaken (and recorded in your Spray Diary within 21 days of the action) you may lose eligibility for any incentive for the entire KPIN/variety (not just the affected block or MA).

Managing Scale On Gold3

Zespri advocates a 1% “summer mineral oil” application to Gold3 if scale levels exceed the KiwiGreen threshold of 4%.

Trial work completed by Plant and Food Research and Zespri over recent years supports the application of 1% mineral oil on Gold3 in the second or third week of February to manage scale populations in the Bay of Plenty (Using summer oils safely – Cathy McKenna etal – Kiwifruit Journal Dec 2019/Jan 2020). The trial data suggests that if mineral oil is applied correctly within this window, the risk of skin damage, premature fruit drop and/or spongy fruit is minimal. But it is important that the spray window, product rate and ideal spray conditions (i.e. good drying conditions) are adhered to.

Further trials reported at Zespri 2020 Pest Day (Scale control in spring and summer – Cathy McKenna etal) confirmed the results from the earlier trials and highlighted a further benefit. Scale crawlers (not killed by the oil application) tended not to settle on the fruit once it had been sprayed, further reducing the numbers of scale found on fruit at packing.

If spraying is recommended as a result of KiwiGreen monitoring, my suggestions are to:

  • Target days with good drying conditions – warm with light winds and low humidity.
  • Spray in the mornings when humidity is lower and before temperatures exceed 25°C – often this means finishing spraying by 10am in the morning.
    • Lenticles on the skin open on the fruit as temperatures rise – spraying while lenticles are open can result in fruit damage.
      • Fruit still hold heat late in the day, so lenticles may still be open in the late afternoon/evening – so spraying then may also add risk.
    • Choose your oil carefully – despite many oils being listed in the Zespri Crop Protection Standard (CPS) as allowed during the monitoring (summer) period, only Excel Organic Oil (by GroChem):
      • has a label claim for use on Gold3 (the others refer to Hort16a) and/or;
      • has a label claim and instructions for February applications on Gold3
        • however, it is worth noting that Cathy McKenna’s Plant and Food Research work was conducted using Excel Organic oil, D-C-Tron Plus Organic and Enspray-99 and reports that all “…are similarly safe to use on Gold3 vines in mid-Feb” (Scale control in spring and summer presentation – Zespri 2020 Pest Day).

Passionvine Hopper (PVH)

Adult PVH are now amongst the vines and if left unchecked, may result in sooty mould on your fruit. At this time of the year, there are two basic approaches to managing sooty mould issues:

  1. Target the pest (PVH)
  • Pyrethrum based sprays
    • Pyganic, ZETaPY and Pylon are the only PVH spray options supported with a label claim that Zespri allows at this time of year – applications should be made to affected areas at dusk, spraying the inner rows first and working outwards towards the shelter belt (this technique pushes PVH out towards the shelter).
    • Using an adjuvant such as Wetcit (conventional growers) or OroBoost (organic growers) may improve efficacy.
    • Follow label rates – refer to the Trevelyan’s Summer 2021/2022 Spray Guide for more information or talk with your merchant.
  1. Target sooty mould
  • PVH excrete a sugary substance known as honeydew that acts as a food source for sooty mould.
    • TripleX is the only product on the market with an ACVM label claim for sooty mould prevention – feedback is that it can be effective if 2-3 sprays are applied as part of a programme (i.e. not a “one-off” spray).
    • It works by aggressively colonizing the foliage, flowers and fruit with the Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Bs1b microbe which competes with sooty mould for honey dew as a food source.
    • Spray at 2-3 week intervals on to the fruit and foliage from early January to late March – if you haven’t already started it’s too late!
    • For maximum effect TripleX must be applied with superspreader such as HyWett or DuWet.
    • Follow label rates – refer to the Trevelyan’s Summer 2021/2022 Spray Guide for more information or talk with your merchant.

Wheat Bug

Wheat bug is occasionally found on packed kiwifruit and while it does not cause any damage, it is a significant quarantine pest for some markets such as the USA and China.

Typically 3-4mm in length, wheat bug is found in the weeds growing in or around your loadout pad and move into bins during the harvest process. To best manage the pest, spray your loadout pads with herbicide now (or remove weeds by hand), therefore eliminating their host plants but allowing them time to move away from the load pad. Spraying weeds with herbicide close to harvest forces the bug into fruit bins (and onto fruit) as they seek a new habitat.

You loadout pad is now monitored as part of Zespri’s KiwiGreen requirements for weed species that are known to be a host of wheat bug. Should your KiwiGreen report state that action is required, make sure that the action taken (i.e. spray or manual removal of weeds) is recorded in your Spray Diary within 21 days.

Mike Perrett
Grower Services Manager

Food for Thought

Organic KiwifruitThe Coronavirus pandemic has led to surging demand for organic and sustainable foods. COVID-19 is raising consumer awareness of the relationship between nutrition and health. This has resulted in a surge of interest in products that benefit from a “health halo”, including functional foods and vegetables. Whenever there is a food or health scare, consumers look at disease prevention and improved nutrition. Consumers are looking to boost their personal immunity. They are spending more on organic foods, plant-based foods and nutritional supplements. The price premium is not as important.

There is a view that consumer behavioural changes that have been adopted are likely to continue in a post-COVID world.

Kiwifruit with its high vitamin C and nutritional benefits is well-suited to consumer demand and is an attractive option to the middle-class consumer in our markets.

On a per Te basis in the past five years (based on industry figures) – the Zespri Organic Green price has increased 53% (from $6.86 to $10.53), and the Zespri Green price has increased 72% (from $4.36 to $7.51). The Zespri Organic Gold price has increased 78% (from $8.64 to $15.36), while the Zespri Gold price has increased 44% (from $8.64 to $12.46).

Out of adversity comes opportunity. Between the challenges of COVID-19, bud break enhancement, market trends and sustainability, organically grown kiwifruit is well positioned to harness this opportunity. 

Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

Cut synthetic fertiliser

Zero Carbon Kiwifruit

Why do we need zero carbon kiwifruit?

If you are still a climate change sceptic after all the scientific evidence and recent weather events, then any argument presented here is unlikely to galvanise you into any sort of action. In the wider world, things are changing and the kiwifruit industry is likely to be swept along by these changes.

  • The NZ agriculture industry is under significant pressure to limit synthetic fertiliser use to reduce the effects on water quality as well as the associated carbon emissions from fertiliser production and releases of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.
  • The European Union is considering a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to ensure imported products have accounted for their carbon emissions.
  • Consumers increasingly want to be able to make positive decisions about the food they eat.

What could zero carbon kiwifruit look like?

If you took time out during the festive season to visit the supermarket and you had the opportunity to linger in the fresh produce section, you may have spied All Good bananas.  All Good pioneered the first fair-trade fruit in this country in 2010. Now it has created a carefully measured supply chain, complete with offsets, which make its bananas carbon-neutral – the first time a local fruit company has achieved this.

All Good acknowledge that the journey to create a carbon-neutral fruit, that comes to NZ supermarkets from Ecuador through a global supply chain, has been a tough but rewarding challenge. The project took a year to complete and required a review of the entire supply chain including soil health, water use and soft plastics recycling.

Changes adopted included: different fertilisers, recycling on-farm plastics, repurposing goods within the supply chain and solar-powered packhouses.  Any emissions that could not be eliminated were offset with carbon credits purchased from a rainforest in Peru.

All this points to a real hands-on, collaborative approach to changing processes, systems and attitudes through the medium of healthy fruit choices. If we want to achieve the same outcomes for the NZ kiwifruit industry then we all need to work together at every point in the supply chain.

What are we doing to move towards carbon zero kiwifruit?

Trevelyan’s have been supporting Zespri’s  development of a Carbon Emissions Calculator for orchards which gives us a real opportunity to quantify emission sources and identify how we can work together to reduce these emissions. If you are interested in helping to test this tool please email

At the Packhouse we are considering changes in cool store design, solar power and lighting options as well as changes in transport technology. A more circular approach to packaging design will also yield carbon emission reductions. Once we get to the port there is also potential for alternative shipping fuels.

Zespri have called for expressions of interest for post-harvest facilities to participate in a Zero Carbon Kiwifruit trial.  Trevelyan’s are keen to join this project and if we are successful we look forward to sharing this journey with some of our growers who would like to participate.

If you are interested in better understanding your own personal carbon emissions and how to reduce them, try this easy-to-use calculator…

The 2020s are the decade for action. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, make the right decisions and make meaningful progress in reducing our emissions (or we might just find ourselves sliding on a slippery banana skin ?).




Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

Where We Stand Is What We See

 Earlier today, I woke and looked up at Mount Cook and Mount Tasman, both graced by a clear, cloudless blue sky with no wind about, from the Top 10 Holiday Park in Franz Josef. We changed our plans for the day after being advised by a helicopter pilot that you only get about five of these sorts of days each year, to fly around both mountains and the three glaciers (Fox, Tasman, and Franz Josef). Within two hours we were hovering close by both mountains, before flying through the gap between them over to the east of the southern divide and then returning west and landing at the top of the Franz Josef Glacier for a feel of the snow and photos.

As I write this some three hours later, both mountains are covered in cloud. This morning’s opportunity is now history. Looking down and up close at Mount Cook and Mount Tasman changed my view and perspective of these icons. From sea level they are majestic sights. From our helicopter they were pimples on the horizon!

Our kiwifruit industry is diverse and some would even say complex. Each one of us has differing views on many aspects of the industry because of where we are standing. Some of us regularly have a helicopter view of matters while others have a sea view. We are each looking at the same subject matter, but from a different angle or height. And that is why we have, at times, differing opinions. We are strongly influenced by what we see from our viewing platform.

May 2022 be a fulfilling year for you all.

Colin Olesen – Chair


Upcoming Events

Zespri GET Team – Red Orchard Hop – Wednesday 2nd February

New licensees and those supporting orchard management teams are invited to a Red Orchard Hop hosted by the Zespri GET team. The orchard hop will be in the greater Te Puke area where you’ll visit Red19 blocks and listen to owners and managers about what they have planned.

To register or to find out more information please email Robin Barker-Gilbert by clicking here.


BOP Women’s Wellness Workshop – Sunday 13th February – 9am – 4pm

NZKGI acknowledges the increased stress in the kiwifruit community and has responded by ramping up its efforts in the pastoral care space. In order to support growers and their families in stress management, NZKGI is offering 10 spaces for women of grower families the opportunity to attend a fully-subsidised one-day workshop to gain practical tools that they can use not only for themselves, but for their families and communities. The day includes mini-workshops covering sleep, nutrition, and movement.

The workshop will take place at Lake Rotoma from 9am until 4pm on 13th February. In order to provide a fair process for attendees, the first 10 respondees will be allocated a place at the workshop. Simply send an email to with your KPIN stating that you would like to attend.


Zespri Field Day – Looking to Lower Nitrogen – Monday 21st February 2022 – 1pm – 3pm

The Zespri GET team is hosting a field day to help growers learn to optimise the use of nitrogen on orchard and help protect the health of waterways, reduce carbon emissions and maintain the industry’s social license to operate.

Hosted at Matrix May orchard in Te Puke, fellow growers and researchers will share insights into implementing a lower nitrogen approach to growing. We will hear why growers started down this road, how things are looking and how they built the confidence to make this change. Researcher Marya Hashmatt will share some high level insights into her research into foliar fertilisers and the Zespri GET team will share some of the trial work and findings conducted around nitrogen use.

Click here for more information and to register for the field day.


Zespri Fishing Tournament

The Zespri fishing tournament is back again in February with a huge prize pool, thanks to industry sponsors. Spaces are limited, first in first served. For more information and to sign up for the tournament click here. For more information please contact Zespri Grower Liaison Managers Stacey Baldock or Brad Ririnui.