Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit October 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

Where Have all the Flower Buds Gone?

     I look at the varied and protracted bud break and struggle to reconcile what I am looking at.

     The photo is an organic block highlighting the challenge.

     When I google “what a plant needs to grow” I essentially get five key ingredients:

     1 – Temperature
     2 – Light
     3 – Moisture
     4 – Air
     5 – Nutrients

What combination or lack of, happened this winter? Or is it the fact that this year according to Niwa (1) we have had the warmest and wettest winter on record?

Then last Friday morning the country experienced an “advection or wind frost”, seldom does New Zealand experience this type of frost (2). Most frosts in New Zealand are “radiation” frosts, where heat is lost from the ground to the atmosphere on clear still evenings, creating inversion layers.

According to a government publication (3) if you live in Taumarunui winter frosts are starting later and finishing earlier. If you live at Lake Taupō the winter frosts are starting earlier and finishing later. The data for Tauranga appears to show a reduction in frosts, however, the point is we are in a flux of change.

Recently, Zespri, NZKGI, and suppliers endorsed a climate change adaption plan. The adaptation plan is about understanding the risks and taking action to address them.

Due to the lower flower bud numbers and recent frosts, 2023 will be another down year. I ask myself is this the new normal or are we about to see a massive crop in 2024, which will stretch both infrastructure, people, and no doubt result in a very average quality outcome? So, it is important that we move ahead with the adaptation plan and understand what growing tools we need for future seasons.





Trevelyan's News - John Lewitt

John Lewitt
Head of Operations and Logistics

Operations Update

There are only two kiwifruit charter vessels to load this season, and both will be taking Hayward fruit to Japan. All remaining Hayward fruit will be shipped in containers and most of this fruit will be sent to Taiwan and Korea. The last of the SunGold fruit will also be shipped out in containers, the majority of which is destined for China. We are still on track to complete all export shipping by the middle of November.

In the fruit quality space, non-pathogenic fungal growth and physical damage rots continue to be the major defect categories impacting Trevelyan’s fruit inventory. Along with this, we are seeing an increase in softs in the Hayward variety which is resulting in high levels of repacking. Despite these challenges, Trevelyan’s fruit loss in all categories continues to outperform the industry as seen from the graph below:



Due to the current high levels of repacking for both SunGold and Hayward, we continue to struggle to find sufficient staff numbers to process the required volume of fruit to meet orders in a timely manner. Additionally, there is currently a large demand for staff in the orchards with bud thinning underway and by the end of the month we will commence our pollen harvest and milling season. This, along with our avocado export packing season (which is well underway) will place additional pressure on staff resources.

When you consider that we started packing RubyRed on the 23rd of February this year and had most of our shifts up and running by the middle of March to pack Kiwistart SunGold, the positive in all this is that there are plenty of opportunities for packhouse-based staff to find regular work all year round.

Industry Update - Debbie Robinson

Debbie Robinson
Head of Supply

2023 Quality – Time to Act

The messages from the Markets this year are loud and clear. If they pay for premium quality fruit that’s exactly what they expect to receive and that is increasingly not the case. As an Industry, we need to act and ensure we make changes throughout the supply chain starting on orchard and into the markets. There are many research projects underway on what has caused some of the quality issues this season and over time there will be learnings that come from them.

What we can do right away is make changes to grower commercials with a focus on rewarding good storing fruit and sheeting home appropriate penalties for poor quality fruit.  History has shown that if the commercial rewards are strong enough growers will find ways to produce the fruit the markets require to delight their customers and therefore will happily pay a premium for it.

2023 Quality Tactical Action Plan

The following is the Industry tactical action plan to implement change:

  1. Understand the cause(s) of the quality problem, including commissioning additional research and analysis where required.
  2. Revisit the commercial drivers to motivate growers to produce premium quality fruit spanning the early, mid, and late supply requirements (for example, address divergence in Kiwistart and Mainpack returns).
  3. Communicate growing and harvest best practices regarding growing and supplying premium quality fruit.
  4. Assess fruit flow decision-making processes throughout the supply chain including procurement, offshore supply chain functions and phasing, and advanced movement.
  5. Keep major quality issues in New Zealand by enhancing the Zespri onshore quality assurance process.
  6. Revisit the supplier accountability programme to motivate suppliers to supply premium quality fruit spanning the early, mid, and late supply requirements:
    • Review the commercial framework
    • Improve the consistency of the checking process between markets
  7. Improve the transparency of in-market quality and cost information to industry stakeholders.


Technical Info - Pronoy

Pranoy Pal 
Kiwifruit Technical Manager

The October Frost – extent of crop loss and what next?

On 7th October, a significant frost event occurred that affected several orchard blocks across the Bay of Plenty and Waikato (see news links here and here), and there was a marginal effect on other kiwifruit growing regions such as Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. Around the Bay of Plenty, the varied severity appears to be higher in the Katikati/Opotiki regions than in the Te Puke region. The current times are difficult and are testing our resilience as an industry, among several other factors, including a variable budbreak. Zespri’s initial assessment (released 19 October) suggests a 10-15% reduction in Hayward and Gold3 crops for the 2023 season, and a 15-25% reduction in the Red19 crop.

Types of Frost

When the heat absorbed into the soil during the day is released, the warmer air rises during the night and is replaced by cold air moving down. This creates an inversion layer with warm air 10-50m above ground and cold air underneath. There are different types of frost that may affect the kiwifruit vines;

  • radiation frost occurs when cold air gets below 0degC. The aim, therefore, is to break this inversion layer or dissipate the cold air as quickly as possible (using frost fans, helicopters, heaters etc).
  • advection frost is caused by the horizontal movement of cold air (Figure 1). Because cold air sinks, low-lying areas with less air movement can be more prone to advection frost. Gold3 and Red19 are at a greater risk of spring frost damage because their budbreak occurs earlier than Hayward. Temperatures of –1.2°C can kill the leaf and flower tissue with the level of damage varying with shoot and canopy development at that time.


Figure 1. Types of frost (adopted from KFJ, Aug 2020, Pg 25-30)

Our observations suggest that most orchards that had frost fans were relatively less affected than those without frost fans, however, several other blocks were more affected even with frost fans throughout the night. This may indicate that it was an advection frost that brings a wave of chilled air that is not averted using frost fans or helicopters.

What next after a frost event?

  • For severely frost-damaged blocks, the primary focus should be to maintain vine health and grow quality replacement cane for next season.
  • Three weeks after the frost – the affected buds should have started to drop-off. This is the time to have a partial budget done – this will help you decide whether to crop or to focus solely on growing replacement cane. Zespri has produced an excellent resource on how to prepare a partial budget here.
  • Look after yourself in these stressful times. Any decision taken in a haste can be detrimental. Talk to your fellow growers, attend Field Days and seek pastoral care if required.
  • Keep your financial situation and your bank up-to-date with your decisions for the upcoming season.
  • Maintain a strong spray program – frost damage and cutting back canes can provide entry points for Psa. Maintain a strong Psa program. It is important to keep key pests/diseases (scale, leafroller, passionvine hopper, wheatbug, sclerotinia) below their threshold levels for the entirety of the growing season.
  • If you decide to crop partially – maintain good grower practices with a strong focus on pollination, which will govern the dry matter. The vines will ‘bounce’ back in no time, hence, keeping well above the strong upcoming vegetative growth will be a key to the cropping next season.


Good luck and please do not hesitate to contact the technical team.

Further reading

Management of frost damaged kiwifruit vines. Zespri KiwiTech Bulletin N9 (Oct 2022).

Frost damage assessment – bud counts and partial budget. Zespri Need-to-Know NK71 (Oct 2022).

Organic Insights

Bex Astwood
Organic Category Manager

Introducing OANZ

This month I thought I would introduce Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ). OANZ is a non-profit organisation with the purpose of growing and protecting the integrity of the Organic Sector, through advocacy, support, and collaboration.

Current projects they are working on include the Organics Products Bill regulations and standards and delivering on the Organic Sector Strategy. In September, OANZ hosted the 2022 Organic Action Day in Wellington. This day provided the opportunity to discuss how we can come together and grow the future of organics.

The 2022-2025 Organic Sector focus points were part of the presentations, and I’ve set out some of the interesting points below:

  • OANZ see an opportunity to create an organic specific farmer extension programme that focuses on solutions to organic agriculture.
  • Christina Robinson (Zespri) and Jon Manhire (AgriBusiness), who are chairing this programme, presented on grower feedback from the regional strategy workshops. The intention of the program will be to help growers connect, understand best practices and build confidence for those transitioning and supporting the organic movement.
  • The other project being worked on is the Organic Knowledge Hub. This Hub will be a national database of organic resources and knowledge, which will be provided by a website and/or app. The Hub aims to better connect growers and producers with new ideas, solutions and resources.

Teresa Whitehead (Zespri Organic Supply Specialist) shared with me that she was very impressed with the presentation on the organic specific extension programme and how this will increase the sharing of resources across different sectors. Teresa also commented that it was great to hear that NZ Winegrowers and Organic Winegrowers NZ were working together (and closely with growers) to build relationships and embrace organics to achieve a sustainable future within New Zealand. We hope to see relationships like this continue to progress in the Kiwifruit industry.

I look forward to seeing these projects in action and the support and information they provide for organic growers. As organic practices are promoted and communicated to consumers, the sector will grow and provide further opportunities for organic growers.

I hope to see you soon and, if you have any queries, please feel free to reach out.



Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

Zero Waste to Zero Emissions

As Recycling Week 2022 comes to a close, it provides an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come on our waste and recycling journey at Trevelyan’s over the last decade.

Much of the recent discussion around sustainability has been focused on carbon emissions reductions. However, putting waste and carbon in separate boxes ignores the fact that they are entirely interconnected and addressing both challenges together provides a number of cumulative benefits.


Zero Waste = simple, low-cost solutions.

At least 70% of global emissions come from the manufacture, transport, use, and disposal of goods. A zero-waste approach focuses on redesigning systems and products so we don’t make unnecessary products in the first place, and this also reduces emissions. Simple zero-waste strategies like source reduction, reuse, and repair mean we can keep things in circulation for longer.

At Trevelyan’s we use a “Red-Tag” system for items which are no longer required. These can then be offered to others who may have a use for such items. We ask staff to take their landfill waste home, to encourage them to think about what they buy and the impact it can have. Additionally, we work closely with our key suppliers to look for opportunities to reduce resource use and waste generation.

Composting is a critical solution

A major focus of NZ’s emissions plan is reducing methane emissions from landfill by diverting organic materials like food and garden waste to composting systems. Returning compost to our soils is a win-win because it makes the soil more resilient to drought and floods because the soil can absorb and hold more moisture.

At Trevelyan’s, we recently started our tenth compost pile. We have been composting kiwifruit and avocado leaves and kiwifruit dust since 2014. This reduces waste to landfill, saves money, and provides a valuable compost product which can be returned to the orchards. So far this year, we have composted 130 tonnes of organic material.

Better recycling limits the use of raw materials

Doing a better job of recycling is important.  We can’t just put something in the rubbish bin and assume that it will ‘’go away”, as all parts of our waste system are highly interconnected. Good quality recycling requires careful management which can then offset the use of raw materials.

At Trevelyan’s, we provide multiple waste bins around the site to ensure the right materials end up in the right place. Our Grounds Team help sort our waste, so we try to make their job as simple as possible. We get paid for many of our recycling streams because they are good quality, and this helps offset our landfill costs. So far this year we have sent only 7.2% of our waste to landfill.

We work with our suppliers, to return the waste to where it came from, where possible.  OJI, Altiora, and Hawk all take back packaging products that they supplied and arrange for it to be recycled.

Reap broader social benefits

Zero waste strategies can achieve multiple goals as they help us reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. They also create meaningful jobs and make our local economies more circular. This increases our resilience to the kinds of economic shocks and changes we should expect will feasibly increase in the coming years.

Over the last two years, Trevelyan’s have been separating and chipping our waste black polypropylene strapping. An increase in the amount of repacking required,  has provided meaningful employment and generated a significant quantity of material for recycling. We have some exciting ideas about what we might be able to do with this material in the future – watch this space.



Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

Director Update

Your Directors, again, had a very full agenda at their October meeting. We examined the width and depth of the current industry analysis being undertaken to address the serious quality issues in the fruit that was presented to our customers and consumers with the 2022 harvest. The very loud message being spoken is that our Zespri marketer cannot afford to have a repeat year like this last one. The outcome of that would be that our fruit would become a commodity product that no longer demanded or rather earned a premium price. In short, our industry simply cannot provide a repeat this coming year of the same. Trevelyan fruit quality figures for this year to date are very close to those of the 2021 harvest which we considered, a year ago, to be ‘not good’. Relative to the rest of the industry, this year so far, we are looking okay. But your Directors believe we must look at our own comparisons and build policies and procedures that improve on our recent past.

All Growers within the industry should expect to see changes made, whether in commercial incentives/penalties, or in operational practices to ensure we see substantially improved outcomes. The old adage modified says if you want a different outcome then you simply must change the ingredients you put in.

Your Directors are very mindful of the variable impacts that the recent 7th October frost has had. Some Growers are apparently totally untouched by frost, while at the other end of the scale there is widespread damage.

With all the new CA coolstores coming on stream this coming harvest your Directors have approved the compensation rate for fruit going into CA storage. This has been set to ensure that there is no disincentive when considering whether you want your fruit to go into CA storage.

Our Company Annual General Meeting (AGM) is set for Wednesday, 16th November, 2022.

The formal Annual General Meeting notice, issued separately, states the time and location. For Director elections, Steve Wright, Geoff Wylie-Miln, Paul Singleton, Jeff Roderick, and Terry Newlands are standing for the three positions available. Voting closes at 5 pm Thursday, 3rd November, 2022. Please exercise your vote.

My Chair’s Annual Report will be emailed to all growers shortly. The TGL audited financials for the year ended 31st March, 2022 are available from Deb or Kelly and copies will be at the AGM.

The term of our current Associate Director, Paul Singleton, ends 31st December, 2022. Applications will be shortly called for an Associate Director for the 2023 calendar year. This is an excellent opportunity for someone to attend and observe your Directors meetings and participate in the significant range of subjects discussed, perhaps with a view to becoming an elected Director at a future time. The application form can be obtained from Deb or Kelly. Applications close 24th November, 2022.

I look forward to seeing as many Growers as possible attending our AGM.

Colin Olesen – Chair


Upcoming Events

Kiwifruit Field Day: Quality Impacts – Poor Budbreak and Frost Damage

Zespri’s Head of Global Supply, Alastair Hulbert, will discuss the current quality issues, the reaction from the markets, and what is being undertaken to ensure quality improves going forward.
Please register by email with your name and phone number here.

When: Tuesday 1 November 2022, 2:30pm followed by a BBQ and refreshments at 4 pm.

Where: Waimarie Orchard, 211 Brown Rd, Te Puke.



Organic Orchard Field Day and Dinner

This will be the time for organic growers to meet other growers in person, hear from growers about their challenges and highlights from the season and to learn from experts in the industry.

When: Thursday 17 November 2022, 11-4 pm, followed by dinner at 6 pm.

Where: more details to follow and how to register.



Grower Finance Education Seminar

The Zespri grower liaison team is hosting a half day grower finance education seminar, which will be useful for anyone wanting to refresh their knowledge of how payments are made, calculated, and the payment timings for growers.
Please register here.

Mystery Creek Fieldays

Zespri will be at the Mystery Creek Fieldays for the latest industry updates and for conversations and catch ups with CEO Dan Mathieson. They will be located at F49 & E48, next to the Fieldays Bar & Eatery.

When: Wednesday 30 November to Saturday 3 December 2022.

Where: Mystery Creek, Hamilton.