Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit May 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

Is there another way of doing this?

As the G3 packing for 2022 comes to a close, there is one area of packing this year that has challenged us more than any other year. That is the amount of explosive fruit we are dealing with at the bin tip. An explosive fruit typically occurs when a fruit stalk withers and then dies, resulting in a lack of nutrient flow to the fruit. This may happen weeks before harvest and the effect is that the fruit ripens and softens but remains in the canopy.

Invariably these fruit make their way into a bin. The challenge comes as we tip the bin, and the fruit squashes and explodes contaminating neighbouring fruit with its juice. We then need to stop production to remove what is left of this fruit and the other fruit that has been contaminated with juice. This can be anything from half a tray, to over a tray of fruit. Once the level increases per bin, the trays per bin are compromised. Any remaining juice that we have not been able to remove, goes on to grow Alternaria on that fruit. This presents as a black growth on the surface of the fruit, and if there is an excess of Alterarnia it will need to be removed at coolstore checking time. At over 0.5/bin we start to feel the effect in the productive capacity of the packline. However, as we pack G3 out of the buffer store we are noticing that the explosive fruit are causing far less damage. It appears that holding the fruit at a lower temperature for an extended period of time is resulting in the fruit holding together as it comes out of a bin. We need to explore how we best use the buffer stores to our advantage in this area.

Despite all of the above, I always find the first challenge, is understanding what is causing the problem.  I have spent time with the technical team here at Trevelyan’s looking at very challenging sites versus very good sites. There appears that there are a number of causes of explosive fruit, but research seems to indicate that vines with less stress from PSA,  produce less explosive fruit. Hence the need to keep up on PSA protectant sprays especially post-harvest.

I also find if we all do a little bit, life becomes easier. If we apply PSA protectant sprays and make sure someone is leaning over the bins at picking time pulling out the soft, ripe fruit, then we are prepared in the packhouse and  we can  pull out those few that have got through.

Trevelyan News Feb 2022

Operations Update

John Lewitt
Operations Manager

We finished packing all our SunGold including 23,000 bins of bin stored fruit on 22 May. This season we packed a total of 10.3m trays of SunGold Conventional and 1.4m trays of SunGold Organic. It took us around 12 days to pack out all our bin store fruit, which provided continuity of work to our staff, who would otherwise have had sporadic work for that period, while waiting for the Hayward main pack crop to be ready to harvest.  We are now well into our Hayward main pack harvest and expect to finish packing around 15 June.

Despite delays with supply of materials, we are delighted to have completed the first of our four new build CA (Controlled Atmosphere) coolstores in late May.  The next two CA coolstores are due for completion in mid-July.  This establishes us well and we are prepared that in 2023,  we will be able to use a combination of bin stores and CA coolstores; this allows us to continue to pick the SunGold at its optimum maturity.  We will continue to use the bin store fruit to fill the gap between the end of SunGold main pack and the start of Hayward main pack, and we will pack the CA store fruit after we finish main pack Hayward.

Our shipping programme continues to be challenging with ongoing disruptions to global supply chains resulting in daily changes to load dates. Despite this, we have loaded out 7.3m trays of fruit so far this season- a great result for all those involved.  This equates to 50% of our total packed volume.


Debbie Robinson
Supply Manager

At the ISG in May, suppliers received a market update on the deliveries to date and were brought up to date on the focus of early SunGold outturns in market.

  • ZGS Green deliveries continue in Europe to bridge to NZ Green arrivals; 9.8m TE delivered YTD all markets.
  • Green deliveries started week 18 (2nd to 8th May) in Japan, and Europe will start deliveries week 21 (23rd to 29th May).
  • Year to date 22.2m TE delivered NZ supply all fruit groups; 1.5m TE behind same time last year but the gap is closing.
  • SunGold Class 1 deliveries have reached a record average of 4.7m TE per week for the last 3 weeks (up to week 19).
  • Market conditions and demand remain good as pipelines are filled.

There has been some poor outturn of very early SunGold especially for Europe, largely from:

  • Fruit harvested up to 20th of March.
  • Relatively high proportion of being harvested at the greener protocols X and A.
  • Harvest protocols X and A fruit has on average experienced higher levels of defects compared to protocols B, C and N.
  • A challenging conditioning programme – no technicians on Europe vessels due to COVID-19.
  • The reduction of the SunGold dry matter standard in 2022 has possibly allowed a relatively high proportion of the fruit being harvested at the greener protocols X and A.
  • Significant increases in Stain/Non-Pathogenic Fungal Growth (NPFG) and rots associated with physical damage which is a major concern.
  • Cool store holds for SunGold – tracking considerably higher this year versus last year.




















Gordon Skipage
Head of Technical

Planning for the future

How we grow kiwifruit in 10 year’s time will look very different to how we grow today. For example, changing weather patterns are affecting budbreak, delaying leafdrop, changing insect pressures and rainfall patterns – all within a backdrop of increasing global scrutiny on how we impact the environment. Fundamentally it becomes a question of sustainability – can the industry survive in a world driven by less chemical sprays, less synthetic nitrogen, less water use, and less winter chill, but with more regulation, red tape and scrutiny.

Our commitment to addressing these issues and a desire to become a “Centre of Excellence” has resulted in changes in the technical space at Trevelyan’s. Recent appointments are designed to support growers as we navigate through these challenges. Ultimately our goal is to ensure productivity and profitability is maintained while we adopt “greener” methodologies/technologies on orchard and through the packhouse.

You’ll see some new faces around Trevelyan’s as we build our technical team:

Dr. Pranoy Pal

Pranoy joins us as the new Kiwifruit Technical Manager. With a background in soil science, kiwifruit physiology, entomology, and biosecurity, Pranoy is well placed to lead us through the challenges of growing fruit in the changing environment.

Rita Khabitueva

Our commitment to quality and science doesn’t end at the orchard gate and Rita’s appointment as our Post Harvest Technical Specialist recognises this. A qualified engineer, Rita’s focus is on improving performance through the packing and cool store processes (while linking back into the orchard) to ensure maximum quality outcomes for the fruit and the grower.

Georgia Guy-Williams

Georgia joined us last year as our Laboratory Manager but she offers much more than her ability to run a lab. The value of data is a key component of success and Georgia has a significant role in managing this and a number of other projects we have in development. Georgia also has significant Kiwifruit growing knowledge and is an important resource to growers and the Trevelyan’s team.

Dr Jonathan Cutting

Jonathan is a stalwart of the Avocado industry and has been our Avocado Technical Manager for a number of years. With a passion in regenerative horticulture, Jonathan has been affecting change in the avocado industry for years and will continue to be a massive support for our avocado growers. As our team works closely together across both crops, Jonathan’s input behind the scene will also be felt by our kiwifruit growers.

Gordon Skipage

I have been tasked with managing the Technical Team and creating a vision for the future. The goal is to be working closely with industry innovators adopting new technologies early as required – and effectively be “ahead of the game”.

We’re keen to engage the support and ideas of growers who are keen to be involved – supporting us to run trials on orchards to show that growing “differently” isn’t necessarily a negative thing. Growers that are keen to learn more about becoming “cornerstone partners” are encouraged to contact me ( to learn more.

An explosive issue

The 2022 season has resulted in a significant increase in the number of explosive fruit in both Gold3 and Hayward this harvest. The financial impact of explosive fruit cannot be understated as it reduces pack out percentages, increases fruit loss and often causes repack due to Alternaria forming on sound, non-explosive fruit. Explosives also significantly reduce the speed in which the shed can pack fruit – the slower we pack, the more harvest is delayed for those not packed.

In the 2021 season, the main cause of explosives was largely due to growers overcropping gold vines in an “average” dry matter year. While larger sizes cleared, delays in harvest as growers waited for smaller sizes to clear resulted in some of the earlier maturing, large fruit becoming “overripe” and explosive once picked and packed.

The 2022 season has presented a much different challenge – explosive Gold3 and HW fruit have presented at much higher rates from the first weeks of KiwiStart (Figure 1). This fruit was not “overripe”, rather the fruit was detaching from a stalk that appeared withered. While we continue to work with Zespri to try and understand the cause of the phenomenon,  this withered stalk symptom was typically found:

  • In the dark parts of the canopies where adjacent leaves had also been aborted (i.e. under strung-cane tepees or dense blocks).
  • Gold3 grown on bounty rootsock appeared to have significantly worse outcomes than adjacent blocks grown on bruno rootstock.
  • In orchards with high Psa pressure.
  • Three girdles/year.















Figure 1. Explosive fruit/bin comparison (2019-2022)

While we continue to work with Zespri to try and understand the cause of the phenomenon there is some fundamental best practice advice that should be adopted prior to next season:

  1. Maintain a strong Psa preventative programme starting now! Psa needs to be managed all year round and applying post-harvest coppers and Actigard are extremely beneficial to maintain the health of your vines leading into next spring. Winter is also a key infection period for Psa so make sure you maintain a robust programme through the winter months.
  2. Maintain an open canopy through summer – avoiding dark patches is important – aim to have some sward growing at all times.
  3. Monitor your orchard in the weeks leading up to harvest. Trial work conducted prior to the 2022 season showed that the shrivelled stalk symptom was not observed until the final weeks before harvest. It is critical therefore that you continue to monitor the orchard for explosive fruit/shrivelled stalks as harvest approaches.
  4. Do your best to remove the explosive fruit prior to harvest. Trevelyan’s is working to determine what we can do to reduce the number of explosive fruit presented at the shed and support growers through this.

Winter Pruning – where should I set my numbers?

Winter pruning is a critical task that sets the foundation for next season’s crop. If done correctly, you will reap the reward, but if done poorly you will also suffer the consequences. Anyone can prune, but not everyone can prune correctly – it is a skilled task that requires training and supervision. As a key task, I encourage growers to strictly supervise pruning teams to ensure they fully understand your needs and to monitor the number of buds and the quality of the cane the teams are tying in.

As stated previously, it is important to first determine what the goals are for the season – high, medium, or low crop loads depending on your business model, vine health, and appetite for risk.

Use the Trevelyan’s Production Target Calculator (available on the Trevelyan’s grower website to assist you in your decision making. By entering in factors such as target yield, size and bay dimensions, etc the tool calculates cane spacing and bud numbers required for you to achieve your desired results at harvest.

If you would prefer to use a paper version of the calculator, download the Trevelyan’s Winter Bud Conversion Matrix by clicking the image below (Figure 2) – this will allow you to estimate crop loads based on flowers per winter bud, average size, and the number of winter buds/m².











Figure 2. Example of Trevelyan’s Winter Bud Conversion Matrix (available on the Trevelyan’s Grower Website)

Dave Parson

Dave Parsons
Organic Category Manager

Greetings to you all.

One month to go…. This month I will;

  • Recap the season so far, which has provided various swings and roundabouts, as it normally does, and,
  • Explain the GAOB China audit process.

Table 1 shows the comparison between the 2021 and 2022 GAOB and HWOB crops harvested at the time of writing. Bear in mind that GAOB harvest is complete and the HWOB figures below are comprised entirely of KiwiStart fruit.

Table 1. GAOB / HWOB Harvest Comparison between 2021 and 2022 to date.



Bins HarvestedClass 1 Trays Packed to DateAve SizeTrays per binPercent Class 1


Packing this season has been problematic, with the shed struggling with the volume of softs and explosives. Current estimates are that the juice from an explosive fruit can contaminate around 20-30 other sound fruit in the same bin. If this contaminated fruit is not removed the juice can then go on to express itself as Alternaria in the season.

Under the Zespri Grade Standards, Alternaria is a Non-Pathogenic Fungal Growth, (NPFG) of which there is a zero tolerance and as such makes the fruit a reject. Thank you to the growers and contractors for their efforts in trying to mitigate this risk, through shaking vines, making pickers aware and, having extra staff on the bins.

A heads up to HWOB growers, that the average fruit pressures in the monitor samples we have taken to date indicate the fruit is softer than last season. If you are seeing issues on your orchard, please give me a call.

The other major reject this season has been blemish, which was exacerbated by the late season storms we suffered prior to harvest.

A quick mention of the Zespri China audit process, and a big thank you to our unsung heroes, growers Jeff Roderick and Vicki Long. Not to mention Trevelyan’s Auditor Yvonne Smythe (a familiar name to Trevelyan’s OB growers). Grower Graham Crawshaw also volunteered, however, he had picked most of his crop prior to the audit so was not required.

Each season Zespri invites expressions of interest from post-harvest to participate in the supply of GAOB fruit into China, with only Trevelyan’s and one other post- harvest facility volunteering this season. As with any audit, it involves the submission of voluminous amounts of paperwork followed this year, by an external third-party audit on behalf of the Chinese. This year due to COVID-19, it was conducted via Zoom and involved Yvonne walking around the orchards with the video camera on and then the external auditor questioning the grower.

Thanks to the efforts of these growers, a feat that should not be understated we successfully completed the process, and this has allowed Zespri to currently export 172,000 trays of GAOB to China. Additionally, there are current discussions with the market to see if the volume can be increased. Last year with no GAOB exported to China the economic cost was around .28 cents/ tray to the industry.

More good news! This year the industry was looking for around 850,000 trays of GAOB OK Japan fruit. Talking to our Inventory Manager Donna Atkinson, prior to packing the Buffer Store bins, our growers had already supplied more than 800,000 trays of OK Japan GAOB fruit, so well done and thanks.

Next time we speak hopefully the harvest is complete. Thanks again for your continued support.




Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

Sustainable Packaging Targets

What are we aiming for?

In February 2020, as part of demonstrating Zespri’s commitment to sustainability, a sustainability framework was released for the NZ kiwifruit industry.  This included ambitious targets that align with the company’s purpose, brand promise, and premium product position.  Packaging is one of three key priority areas and is accompanied by three targets.







Zespri is a signatory to The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which unites businesses, governments and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.

The term “packaging” includes all Zespri branded and selected unbranded packaging products and associated components used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery, storage, transport and presentation of Zespri kiwifruit; from post-harvest operator to consumer (Figure 1).

How far have we come?

In 2020 Zespri carried out Life Cycle Assessments (LCA’s) of all transport and consumer packaging to get a better idea of their environmental footprint.  This included an assessment of recyclability, compostability, and reusability as well as the use of recycled plastic in packaging.  The baseline measures for the first two packaging targets were reported in Zespri’s FY21 Annual Report.







For consumer packaging, Zespri has reduced the number of different types of packaging used and has been working with customers to implement trials in key markets.  For example, in Europe, Zespri has partnered with Skillpack and The Greenery to develop a recyclable cardboard consumer pack.

Zespri is also working with suppliers on alternatives to the existing fruit labels with new restrictions coming in France, Flanders, and New Zealand.

In transport packaging, we have seen a shift towards bulk packaging, which has benefits in both labour saving and sustainability, but there’s still a long way to go to achieve the 2025 targets, especially in relation to the plastics content.

What does all this mean in practice?

At Trevelyan’s, we have seen first-hand how challenging it can be to make system changes to improve our sustainability outcomes.  Much of what we have achieved in the last ten years has not been technically difficult, but it has required significant changes in mindset and adaptions to our existing processes.  We have struggled with logistics, space, scale, and finances.  As inflation starts to bite, we are now realising the financial as well as social and environmental benefits of the systems changes we have introduced.

The changes required to achieve the industry’s 2025 sustainability packaging targets will require rapid and significant change to move from concept to trial to full implementation in the space of just three seasons.  We will need co-operation across the entire value chain from suppliers to customers and everyone in-between.  It is critical that all the key players have visibility of the proposed changes so that we can work together to achieve the desired outcomes.



Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

Lost Money Can Never be Recovered

Your Director’s meeting in May was primarily centred around the cost of explosives in fruit and the physical damage on the fruit. I recall this subject was considered at our May 2021 Director’s meeting. It appears the circumstances around these two subjects fluctuates from year to year with the current harvest displaying very material costs to Growers and indeed to TPCL as well. Figures for the harvest to date, that is with the Gold packing nearly completed and the Green mainpack still to come, suggest a labour cost to date of $600k and an opportunity cost of over $920k – a total cost year to date of over $1.5m. This is material money, in anyone’s language, that is presently for nobody else’s gain. By that I mean all parties are losing, so if we find a solution to significantly reduce the problem it can be a win-win for all parties as well.

We examined the following issues – canopy work done or not done by Growers that could reduce the chance of these problem fruit getting to the packhouse, and fruit harvest practices that could be applied that could have a material beneficial outcome. Both of these components have minimal costs involved compared to the benefits to be gained, that means the marginal return on investment is or could be amazingly large!! Fruit damage on the vine only shows up at packing time if it is old damage. If it is recent damage, it shows up at repack time and exasperates good storage.

So, what are your Directors looking at to reduce the losses to Trevelyan Growers, and TPCL, in what is estimated as well over $2m per year during harvest and packing, and probably a significantly larger sum during the storage/loadout period.

Firstly, we want to have solid figures and recordings to ensure that there is clear attribution of costs to the relevant line of fruit. Then secondly, we are looking at introducing a separate charge, similar to the packing reject rate charge concept, that sheets the costs incurred back to the relevant Grower. Another additional consideration might be to adjust the pooling split to ensure fruit loss from what was new fruit damage, along with decay on fruit splashed by explosive fruit at packing, (both of which show up later in storage,) is sheeted back in greater measure to the Grower rather than the pool covering that loss. Your Directors are firmly of the opinion that money still talks, and that all Growers need to critically examine all aspects of their orchard operation and make changes to mitigate losses in these areas.

I have purposefully been ‘long winded’ on this subject in this newsletter because both your Directors and TPCL see a need for change for the 2023 harvest – it is that material and significant to us all.

I encourage you to discuss this with your Grower Services Rep who will be able to share with you your results for the current 2022 harvest and what sort of improvements could or should be addressed before the 2023 harvest.

TGL Directors welcome your feedback on this developing proposal.

Colin Olesen – Chair

Staff Introductions

Pranoy Pal has recently joined the team at Trevelyan’s as a Kiwifruit Technical Manager and will be working closely with Gordon Skipage, the Head of Technical.

Pranoy is highly experienced in the technicalities of best practices of kiwifruit production, both on-orchard and post-harvest. Alongside a sound knowledge of kiwifruit physiology, soil nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas emissions, and management of insect-pests, Pranoy has over 10 years as a skilled project manager, and possesses disciplines in process improvisation, conducting and communicating research, and line management of staff.

In his previous roles (at Start Afresh, Plant and Food Research, Landcare Research), he was responsible for large grant projects that included scientific decision-making, liaising with high-profile clients and funding bodies, and ensuring all outputs were delivered on time and within budget.

After finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science, Pranoy gained a Master’s degree from India in Agricultural Chemistry that investigated pesticide residues in processed food commodities and its toxicology counterparts. Additionally, Pranoy has a PhD in Soil Science Systems from Lincoln University, New Zealand, that quantified ‘background’ greenhouse gas emissions of nitrogen and carbon from dairy pastures. Throughout his academia career he has published extensively and has collaborations and relationships across the industry, including the Ministry and Crown Research Institutes.

On a leisure day, Pranoy enjoys spending time with his young family of two boys and socialising with friends over great tasting food.

WorkWell Silver Accreditation Achieved

Workwell Silver Standard Accreditation





Trevelyan’s Pack is thrilled to announce that the team has successfully achieved WorkWell Silver Standard Accreditation!

WorkWell provides a framework that supports workplaces to develop and implement an effective and sustainable workplace wellbeing programme. This WorkWell accreditation recognises Trevelyan’s achievements towards creating a healthy workplace, that includes:

  • A focus on the health and wellbeing of its staff, and that they value all staff and promote trust between people.
  • The proven collaboration and constructive relationships to achieve shared objectives.
  • Effective, open multi-level communication channels that encourage and support change and innovation and additionally, fosters creativity.
  • Promotes continuous learning and recognises and adapts to changing work-life commitments.
  • Is culturally aware, supportive of, and responsive to the diversity of the workforce and supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle.

For more information, please contact the Health and Wellbeing committee by emailing –