Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit March 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

Away We Go

The 2022 season is well underway with the harvesting and packing of Red fruit complete and Gold fruit continuing. We nervously waited to see how many of the staff we called would come in for our first shift, knowing staff will be a challenge this year.

It wasn’t long before the shift was up and running. Like always, there were a certain number that did not arrive. Whether it was because they were self-isolating or have a job elsewhere remains to be seen.

Covid has meant we have currently got anywhere from 200-280 of our staff away, on any one day. The challenge is which of these staff will be unable to come in? There was a week where only one of our five Assistant Packhouse Mangers on day shift was allowed on site. Although challenging, it has also allowed other team members the opportunity to step up.

The Government has reduced the home isolation period to seven days which will help, but obviously still do not have enough RATs to allow people to determine when they should return to work themselves. In speaking with other industries, it sounds like they are starting to use a RAT-based system for employees to return to work as they just don’t have enough staff on site.

We have put a lot of energy into recruitment this year. However, we have already seen one supplier increase their hourly rate by $1.25 above the living wage, which I believe has resulted in all other post-harvest operators in the Te Puke area matching the rate.

I have no doubt these challenges will pass, and I tell myself we are thankfully not growing fruit in the Ukraine. I wish everyone a good season. My phone is always on if you have a concern.

Trevelyan News Feb 2022

Operations Update

John Lewitt
Operations Manager

Packing is well underway, and we are currently operating with three day shifts and three night shifts. We will start up our final day shift and night shift once we get a steadier flow of fruit coming in. Labour supply continues to be constrained and our HR team have a number of initiatives in place to attract staff to work with us. Like the rest of the country, the Omicron wave is having an impact on our staffing levels. We hope to see the impact of this reduce as the Omicron peak passes.

As at the end of week 11, we have packed just under 1m trays of fruit consisting of:

  • RubyRed: 11,000 trays
  • Organic SunGold: 100,000 trays
  • SunGold Conventional: 850,000 trays

Fruit quality overall appears good at this early stage. We are seeing some lines of SunGold coming through with short stalks. These short stalks puncture fruit that is in close proximity as the fruit rolls out of the field bins in the bin tip. These punctures then turn into rots in the coolstore. There is a very low tolerance for rots in the Zespri quality system and generally this will result in a pallet needing to be repacked, which ultimately results in fruit loss and repack costs to the grower and the pool.

We have loaded out our first charter vessels of the season. These are destined for Japan, Korea, China and Europe. The team has a busy time ahead with seven charter vessels loading out over the next two weeks on top of the regular container programme.

Prize Draw Voucher Winners

Debbie Robinson
Supply Manager

Revised SunGold Conventional Procurement Plan

A revised SunGold Conventional Procurement Plan is shown below. The week 11/12 GA1CK Period 1 flexible allocation of 3 million tray equivalents has been removed. Zespri will continue to consider adding flexible allocation volume back into the procurement plan if the opportunity arises for additional GA1CK. This will be based on balancing the need to keep the industry packing fruit during the season while ensuring there is a clear pathway to meet Hayward procurement volumes for the required market demand.


SunGold Conventional Rate Changes

At the Industry Supply Group meeting on 17 March 2022, it was agreed to adjust the week 11/12 Kiwistart rate to continue to keep growers commercially motivated to harvest fruit as early as possible.

This change left a significant drop between the rate for week 11/12 to week 12/13. Due to concerns that the drop-in rate was expected to have an impact on grower motivation to harvest (and to ensure that growers continued to be commercially motivated to harvest as early as possible), it was agreed to increase the Kiwistart rates for week 12/13, and subsequently weeks 13/14 and 14/15. The table below shows the revised SunGold Conventional Kiwistart rates:

Cost Of Quality

The following slides show the cost of quality both onshore and in-market based on the latest forecast (E4). As you can see with $117m for Green and $157m for SunGold, 2021 has generally not been a good quality year. The increased in-market quality claims show there is clearly a challenge for the whole industry to find ways to improve fruit quality and reduce the cost of quality to increase grower OGRs and protect the valuable Zespri brand.

Total Cost of Quality - Gold


Gordon Skipage
Head of Technical

Is Weather Affecting Our Earlier Gold3 Clearances?

As I write this, the Gold3 harvest has been underway for a couple of weeks and some interesting trends are starting to develop. Some orchards and regions considered “early” (i.e. Gisborne) have been struggling a little to meet Zespri’s brix and/or colour requirements. In an effort to understand what regional influences may have contributed to this I have looked at weather data associated with the regions.

As a simplistic measure of the weather’s influence over fruit maturity, “Growing Degree Days” (the total number of degrees celsius above 10°C for each day) appears similar to previous years for Te Puke and Katikati, while the Gisborne growing region is tracking lower this year compared to most of the five previous years (green lines in Figures 1-3). A review of this measure may show that summer 2022 has proven to be cooler and cloudier compared to most others, resulting in slightly later maturing fruit for Gisborne growers.

Figure 1. Te Puke – Growing Degrees Calculator (1 Jan – 31 March) – KVH website

Figure 2. Gisborne (Matawhero Roundabout) – Growing Degrees Calculator (1 Jan – 31 March) – KVH website

Figure 3. Katikati – Growing Degrees Calculator (1 Jan – 31 March) – KVH website

Comparing regional rainfall data experienced from 1st January each year (Figure 4) suggests while Te Puke and Gisborne experienced similar rainfall to last year, Katikati has experienced significantly less than 2021. This comparatively “dryer than average” rainfall may have impacted on higher dry matter and slightly advanced maturity.

Regional period rainfall (1 January – 16 March) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)
2021/222020/212019/202018/192017/182016/176-year ave
 TE PUKE – Period rainfall (1 January – 16 March) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)
 KATIKATI – Period rainfall (1 January – 16 March) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)
 GISBORNE – Period rainfall (1 January – 16 March) for harvest years 2021/22 – 2016/17 (mm)

Figure 4. Comparing regional rainfall data

Clean-up Sprays

Many growers apply a clean-up spray immediately prior to harvest to remove light staining (tannins) off the fruit. Calcium phosphate/phosphoric acid cleaners such as CP Clean are a good option for Kiwistart orchards. They remove light staining and do not negatively impact on leaf quality. For heavier stains (like those experienced in mainpack) a phosphate buffered lactic acid product such as Jewel Clean LF is a good option. These more “powerful” products clean over a period of 2-3 days. However, they are more likely to have a negative impact on leaf condition (therefore are not recommended to use during Kiwistart).

Remember that clean-up sprays are ineffective at removing sooty mould or stains caused by heavy metals (i.e. iron or manganese) in your water supply. The best option here is to prevent this type of stain from occurring in the first place by proactively managing PVH/sooty mould prior to harvest and testing your water supply for heavy metal concentrations. If you determine that you have high levels of heavy metals, ensure irrigation heads are lowered so they don’t spray water onto fruit. If you use this water for overhead frost protection later in the season, consider using an alternate water source or filtering the impurities from the water.

Trevelyan’s Winter Spray Guide Update

I have recently published the 2022 Trevelyan’s Winter Spray Guides covering the period from post-harvest through until budbreak. During this time there are some critical tasks that need to be undertaken, and some of that warrants consideration now.

Trevelyans Winter Spray Guide Conventional

Trevelyan’s Winter Spray Guide – Conventional – PDF, 226Kb

Trevelyans Winter Spray Guide Organic

Trevelyan’s Winter Spray Guide – Organic – PDF, 243Kb


Psa control should be your absolute priority after harvest as you’ve now exposed thousands of picking scars (or entry points) to Psa. While leaf condition is good, I recommend applying copper at summer rates with a superspreader (i.e. Du-Wett/HyWett) immediately after harvest. Conventional growers also have the option to apply Actigard (200g/ha) with your copper to add extra protection against Psa. If you have anything less than 50% of “green leaf” I wouldn’t bother with Actigard as its uptake into the leaf (and therefore the benefit from using it) will be minimal.

KiwiVax is another Psa control option for both organic and conventional growers. KiwiVax has a Limited Label Claim for Psa control and contains three strains of Trichoderma. 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.


Zespri has changed the rules for post-harvest Movento treatments this year – Zespri will automatically approve post-harvest Movento applications as long as you had scale at or above 4% on at least one block during any of your pest monitoring rounds in the 2022 season. Given the ability for scale to spread, one block above the 4% scale threshold will allow you to spray Movento to all blocks, not just the one that exceeded the 4% threshold.

Again, no Justified Approval will need to be completed if the above requirements are met.

To maximise the efficacy of this spray, consider applying Movento (960ml/ha) and Du-Wett (40ml/100L) after harvest while leaf condition is good. Adding “Kwicken” (250-500ml/100L) 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 helps take the pressure off during a busy spring spray window.

I do not recommend applying Movento within five days of copper.

Dave Parson

Dave Parson
Grower Services Manager

What Does It All Mean?

This month I must apologise in advance to our Hayward Organic (HWOB) growers, as I will be looking at the Gold Organic (GAOB) Zespri Maturity Clearance Reports, which can be accessed via the Zespri Canopy website. I hope to add some clarity around how to interpret your test results, and I will look at the HWOB reports and how to interpret them next month.

Thanks to Gordon Skipage (Trevelyan’s Head of Technical) for allowing me to use his Clearance Criteria chart (shown below) which outlines Zespri’s maturity criteria for GAOB, which is the same for Gold Conventional (GACK) – for those GACK growers that may have become inadvertently lost in the newsletter.

GAOB Maturity Clearance Criteria

During the Kiwistart period there are three maturity criteria that your sample is tested against (highlighted above in yellow). They are dry matter threshold, colour threshold and lower brix fractile. The only change for mainpack is the brix criteria changes to a mean brix value.

  • The dry matter threshold (in this case 70%) is the 70th percentile of the population, so the value which is higher than 70% of your sample population or 70% of your sample fall below (glass half full or half empty).
  • A lower fractile refers to the value of the third lowest fruit in the sample.

Your Zespri Maturity Clearance System (MCS) Report:

Section 1 – Maturity Area Details: This lists the general details of the MA such as tray estimate, area, and growing method.

Section 2 – Maturity Area Results: Lists your sample results, with either a green tick (pass) or red cross (fail) under the Clearance status (as shown below). The right-hand column lists the sizes that have achieved the dry matter standard.

Maturity Area Results


It may seem all rosy at this point, but it is important to read the following sections in conjunction with the results in Section 2.

Section 4 – Gold3 Dry Matter By Count Size:

Although your report will give you an average Taste Zespri Grade (TZG), it is important to look at your individual TZG values by size, as your average may be high but you may have failed individual sizes (as shown by the red crosses below). Your individual dry matter by size forms the basis of your taste payment and is directly related to your actual fruit size profile that is submitted to Zespri post-packing. If, as in this case, you have a high proportion of 33 / 36 sized fruit, then picking is not advisable.

Dry Matter By Count

Section 6 – Gold3 Colour By Count Size:

Consumers want fruit in market that is gold in colour, not green when they cut it open, and generally the larger the fruit the earlier it colours. Zespri uses a colour protocol system to rate the transition of colour within the fruit from green to gold, with X (greenest) > A> B > C > N (golden). Looking at the sample below, sizes 25-36 are protocol X, so the least golden in colour. Trevelyan’s are happy to colour fruit within their coolstore that is colour protocol X, if the green fractile is <114°. This will however, require the signing of a Trevelyan’s De-Greening Colour Waiver as there is some risk involved. However, your rep will be able to guide you through the process.

Colour by Count

Finally, you cannot form a composite pass from previous test results. A brix pass from a failed test plus a colour threshold pass from another failed test cannot be combined to create a pass. However, the good news is once you have a complete pass you cannot lose that status.

There are a lot of useful resources on the Zespri Canopy website, and these can be accessed by clicking the MCS Canopy button which appears on the right-hand side of the Zespri MCS homepage. The button looks like this –

MSC Canopy Button

If you have any issues relating to the interpretation of your reports, your rep is there to help. Thanks for your time and patience, I hope this helped and good luck with your harvest.

Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

Waste Not, Want Not

My grandmother was excellent at managing resources. Having grown up during the Great Depression and dealing with post-war rationing, she thought hard about what she really needed and never threw anything of value away.

When she passed away a couple of years ago, I inherited her sewing box. I spent some time sorting through it during the last lockdown. In today’s modern consumer society, it would be almost unthinkable to remove a zip or button from a used clothing item so it could be repurposed, or to unravel a woollen jersey to reuse the wool. Yet that is what my grandmother did.

What sustainability lessons can we learn from this frugal approach in the modern era of rampant inflation and supply chain limitations?

  1. Recognise that everything has value
    When we buy something, there is a financial cost and an impact on the environment.  The use of resources also generates financial and environmental impacts. We can see this with the transport packaging used to export our kiwifruit around the world.When an item is no longer required, we must dispose of it. Again, this has an environmental impact depending on where we land on the waste hierarchy (reuse, recycle, compost, landfill) as well as an associated cost. Our landfill costs at Trevelyan’s have gone from $200/tonne to $400/tonne in the last four years, so the choice of disposal route can have a significant impact. If we use less and waste less, then it will cost less and have less of an environmental impact.
  2. Look more closely at why and how you do things
    The increasing financial and environmental impacts force us to think differently about how we work. One seemingly simple decision can lead to a cascade of impacts down the line. For example, the amount of fruit we condition check and repack means we produce a lot of packaging waste. We reuse as much as we can, but we still collected nearly six tonnes of polypropylene strapping for recycling in 2021.The “Five Whys” is a simple technique which can help get to the root cause of an issue.  When a problem occurs, you drill down to its root cause by asking “why?” five times. Then, when a countermeasure becomes apparent, you follow it through to prevent the issue from recurring. This is particularly useful in the current COVID environment when circumstances are changing rapidly, and we need to adapt quickly.
  3. Take people with you on the journey
    I am always inspired how our sustainability projects take on a life of their own, once we get the logistics ironed out. If we can help people understand the why of what they are doing, such as recycling, they feel empowered and are keen to help make a difference.  It’s amazing to see the sense of purpose that people get from doing something really worthwhile when they come to work.
  4. The best time to get started is now
    There’s a popular Chinese proverb that says “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” And Desmond Tutu once wisely said “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”  If we put these two ideas together then the best thing we can do is to start taking small steps, now.When I get disheartened about how much work there is to do in the sustainability space, I reflect on what we have achieved at Trevelyan’s over the last few years. We have made huge strides in reducing our waste to landfill down to 8.84% in 2021 and we are getting more traction on minimising our carbon emissions. We have recently completed a project to relabel all our bins and I look forward to seeing the impact of this as we move through the season.

Frugal might be an old-fashioned word, but it’s certainly a valid approach in the challenging environment we find ourselves in this year, and as my grandmother would say…”waste not, want not.”

Sewing Box

Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

The Board Table To The Blue Sky

Your Directors met virtually this month to help minimise the risk of any Covid spread.

Our TGL Grower Agreement for the 2022 season is still being finalised, but you will be receiving this shortly for signing. Please give this your prompt attention.

We discussed what is known as the DB issue – that is Denatonium Benzoate – which has caused the dumping of a significant quantity of fruit this season, primarily in Europe. Our thoughts were taken back to the industry forums that will be making decisions on where those costs should be borne. The organic pools are not affected by this matter.

TPCL presented their packing rates for the 2022 season and these will be included in the Packing Agreement shortly to be issued to growers. Directors are mindful that Covid requirements are adding costs to TPCL in a number of areas.

The buffer store compensation model was reviewed, and the decision made to operate this for the 2022 season in the same manner that was used for the 2021 harvest season. The ZGS operations that provide 12 months’ supply of Zespri kiwifruit on overseas supermarket shelves was also reviewed in light of expanding demand for our Zespri fruit and the resulting need for increased planting, particularly of G3, in the northern hemisphere. This will be the subject of further industry discussions over the coming months, with a Producer vote required later in the calendar year.

And lastly, we discussed the Covid protocol of mask wearing on orchard and principally during picking time. This requirement is centred around our China market and the actions needed to minimise the segregation of fruit in coolstore between destination China, and the rest of the world. So that completes a diverse and interesting agenda that your Directors covered.

We then turned our computer screens off, and returned to sunshine, fresh air, and our orchards as we prepare for harvest. That view was a much more welcoming scene than what the Ukrainian people are currently facing. Our world is in need of love, peace, and understanding more than ever before.

My best wishes to you all on a successful harvest – fruit picked on time, packed efficiently, coolstored professionally, and delivered to market in top quality condition to give our consumers good health.

Colin Olesen – Chair

Staff Introductions

Alex T

Alex Tomkins

  • What is your role and how long have you worked at Trevelyan’s?

My role at Trevelyan’s is Business Improvement Coordinator and during the season I will be working in operations as an Assistant Packhouse Manager. I’ve been at Trevelyan’s since mid-January this year.

  • What’s your favourite thing about working at Trevelyan’s?

Coming from the orchard development and management part of the kiwifruit industry, I’ve really enjoyed working within packhouse operations and learning about an area of the kiwifruit supply chain that is new to me. The team here at Trevelyan’s are very friendly and welcoming, which makes it a great place to work. It has also been awesome to see how quality and strong return for growers are priorities throughout the business at Trevelyan’s.

What are your main interests/hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time outdoors and being active through walks up the mount, running, and mountain biking. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends.

  • What would you like people to know about you?

I spent six years of my childhood living in Asia, in Bangkok and Singapore. Living in Asia sparked my interest in the export of New Zealand primary industry products and led me to study International AgriBusiness at University.

Karen Gibson

Karen Gibson

  • What is your role and how long have you worked at Trevelyan’s?

Having joined in March, my role is Covid Coordinator and I work alongside the health and safety and HR teams to assist in safely navigating Trevelyan’s through the Covid pandemic.

  • What’s your favourite thing about working at Trevelyan’s?

I’ve enjoyed the diversity within the team and the different departments. There are many walks of life at Trevelyan’s that all come together for one common goal. I’m impressed by the can-do attitude, and during challenging times everyone gets stuck in to help one another to get the job done.

  • What are your main interests/hobbies outside of work?

I’m one for adventure, creativity, and experiences outside of my comfort zone. I’m an avid traveler and have been fortunate enough to explore many cultures and countries. I love to get out and about in nature. Hiking, camping, ocean-based activities, or a motorbike ride on a nice day are up there for me. On the other hand, a good book, decent coffee, and lazy day pottering at home are equally as enjoyable.

  • What would you like people to know about you?

I am here to give my all in this role and I appreciate the personal and professional rewards that come with hard work, dedication, and results. I would like to think I’m approachable, and that any person would feel comfortable communicating the needs of themselves or their team. I’m happy for a conversation any time, my phone is always on and door is always open.