Kia ora, welcome to our Kiwifruit Newsletter

eNews Kiwifruit September 2022 Edition

James Trevelyan

James Trevelyan
Managing Director

In general, the quality of the first kiwifruit delivered to the market this season has been woeful. Although it is yet to be signed off, the kiwifruit industry is heading into another quality review. In my time in the industry, there have been many reviews, and the first review I was involved in was in 2006. The average onshore fruit loss that year was 11.6% HW, 3.5% HWOB, and 10.6 % for GKCK. I clearly remember that year. We fought hard at packing time to keep the soft fruit out of the HW trays as we packed. The physical damage was a challenge for Hort 16a. There were times that we were packing the Hort 16a at only 900 trays an hour as we turned each piece of fruit looking for damage. We then audited those lines as we sent them off to Zespri’s newly formed ECPI team at the wharf. It was a hard year, our fruit loss that year was 2.3% HW and 1% Hort 16a.

I support the need for a review this year, but I ask myself, why are we having to do this again, did we miss something last time? Having now accomplished a full head of grey hair and having had my fair share of beatings over the years, I would sum the issue up with one line. “Every problem needs a home”. What I mean by this, is that if you leave a problem unattended it does not go away, it runs up the road chasing you. Then at some stage, it bites you hard on the backside- we shouldn’t need a disaster to sort problems out.

With the upcoming review, every part of the supply chain is involved, including growers, contractors, postharvest, and Zespri. Rather than waiting until the issues become untenable, we need to acknowledge and sort out our problems as they arise, the net result of this will be a happier customer.

Trevelyan's News - John Lewitt

Operations Update

John Lewitt
Head of Operations and Logistics

We have shipped all our SunGold organic fruit with the last orders loaded out at the end of September.  SunGold conventional is 90% shipped and we expect the last of this fruit to be loaded out in mid-October. Hayward conventional is 90% shipped and Hayward organic is 97% shipped, the last loads for Hayward are expected to leave New Zealand by mid-November.

Quality continues to be a significant issue for the industry this season, and while Trevelyan’s fruit loss is at a similar level to the 2021 season, you can see from the graph below, that our fruit loss has continued to outperform the industry in 2022.

Recruiting labour has continued to be a challenge throughout the repack season and this has resulted in long hours and weekend work for our repack teams. Our employment team has been working hard to improve this situation by recruiting new staff and sharing labour between the orchard and the packhouse wherever possible.

Our total forecast volume for next season is currently at 19.2m trays, up from 17.3m trays in 2022. Preparations for dealing with this 12% increase in volume are well advanced. The installation of our automation project on Packing Line 4 is going well with the installation of the gentle box fillers completed, and the next batch of 4 containers is due to arrive in mid-October. All the controlled atmosphere stores are on track for completion by the end of October and the controlled humidity packing system in Packhouse 1 on the packing line, is progressing as planned and due for completion prior to the 2023 harvest season.

Industry Update - Debbie Robinson

Debbie Robinson
Head of Supply

2022 Maturity Review Update  

The 2022 Maturity Review was initiated in July 2022 to review;

  • The minimum maturity clearance criteria for commercial varieties,
  • Gold3 ship-by rules and advance movement timing,
  • Gold3 de-greening requirements,
  • Red19 clearance and loadout criteria,
  • Hayward and Green14 black seeds criteria and sample-to-sample variation, along with sampling and testing specifications.

SunGold KiwiStart Criteria

There were significant quality issues in the market this season related to Protocol X and A KiwiStart SunGold. The Maturity Review Group identified that reducing the colour threshold to 110.2 °hue would significantly reduce the volume of Protocol X and A fruit and result in better quality fruit arriving in the market to begin the NZ sales programs.

  • It was agreed at the September ISG to lower the SunGold colour threshold to 110.2 °hue for the 2023 season.

Hayward and Green 14 Black Seeds

In 2022, black seed pass variability upset some growers during the Hayward KiwiStart weeks. The Maturity Review Group reviewed the Hayward and Green14 black seeds criteria and considered the possibility of a previous black seed pass inheritance rule being applied.

In 2022 for Hayward, 91 MA’s had two black seed passes and 39 MA’s with three black seed passes while waiting for other parameters to meet clearance criteria. In 2022 for Green14 no MA’s had either two or three  black seeds passes while waiting for other parameters to meet clearance criteria.

It was also noted that any inheritance model at 97% seeds could have an unintended consequence of bringing immature fruit into the pool, but the risk was assessed as low.

  • It was agreed at the September ISG that a manual dispensation request process for Hayward and Green14 black seeds be implemented for the 2023 season if a MA achieves three consecutive 100% black seeds sample results previously, while failing on other parameters and then fails on black seeds.

Red19 Clearance and Loadout Criteria

  • The group identified no change to the Red19 harvest criteria for the 2023 season.

Sample-to-Sample Dry Matter Variability Review

Each season the Group reviews the sample-to-sample dry matter variability that is quantified through the same day audit process. A significant reduction in the Gold3 between sample dry matter variability was measured and Hayward between sample variation was the same as 2021.

  • For the 2023 season, the group recommends that a proportion of sample pairs have a different service provider that collects and tests the audit sample and compares it to the clearance sample.

Technical Info - Pronoy

Pranoy Pal 
Kiwifruit Technical Manager

Regenerative horticulture – why the hype?

Recently, we hosted an indoor regenerative horticulture Field Day on 5th September, which was well received by the growers. Introducing a new concept comes with mixed feelings (of scepticism and positivity)– similarly introducing the ‘regen’ concept did take some effort. On a positive note, we now have a number of growers asking the right questions and have enquired to know more about it. A few of them have already diverted their efforts to sowing a regen seed mix (more details below) and making the best use of the upcoming weather ideal for fast seed germination. This is an extremely good outcome of a Field Day, and we are planning another Field Day at a Trevelyan’s growers’ orchard this time.

Regenerative Agriculture (RA) is an evolving concept focused on reducing the impacts of food production on our environment while remaining profitable (Figure 1). Across various cropping systems, several farmers and growers are already undertaking numerous positive practices, like rotational grazing, cover cropping, increasing biodiversity, wetland restoration, fencing setback from waterways, riparian planting, and low-till cultivation.

Since 2019, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has focussed its  efforts and significant funding on RA and set up a technical advisory group who have developed a mission statement– “Practices that, in isolation or collectively, can achieve improved outcomes for our productive landscapes, rivers, coastal and marine environments, increase profitability and add value, promote health and wellbeing for humans, whilst ensuring we can grow and consume our food and fibre products sustainably, and meet goals of taiao, whenua ora, mauri ora, and tea o tūroa”.

Figure 1. Pillars of regenerative agriculture.
Image: PUR Projet, France

Project funding across various organisations and MPI range from $8m to $26m with a focus on dairy farm systems, vegetable production, apple, and kiwifruit sectors. These funds and the focus through the government are enough proof that RA has great potential – provided that it is understood thoroughly and executed correctly.

The Trevelyan’s Field Day and guest speakers

At the Field Day, I introduced the regen concept to the growers, while providing examples of orchards and their soil tests and how they could improvise it. Briefly, the following could be done around the pillars of RA shown in Figure 1.

  • Improve soil health
    • Understand your soil – a soil test provides an estimate of chemical properties – perform a visual soil assessment, i.e. soil structure, aggregate size and organic matter levels.
    • Less intensive orchard – more diverse soil food web, improve soil structure, increase soil organic matter, higher C and N retention.
  • Reduce soil disturbance
    • ground hogger or soil ripping should be practiced only for compacted soils and heavy soils and not cultivating these in waterlogged soils.
  • Test for biological activity – both above-ground and below-ground activity
    • determining the fungal: bacterial ratio. A few labs (i.e., Soil Food Web) across NZ can provide these testing results.
  • Sow regen seedmix – select the seeds with the benefit based on your soil-orchard scenario. Certain plants are more suited to providing specific benefits than others. Benefits include,
    • Improving water holding capacity, reducing leaching and compaction, N-fixing.
    • Serve as a cover crop.
    • This seed mix can be tailored for your orchard – depending on soil type, slope, etc.
    • Increased aboveground and belowground biodiversity.

Guest speaker – Leighton Oats

Leighton shared his journey of establishing his orchard and converting it into an organic block. Leighton  used a regen seed mix and coated it with the beneficial fungus, Trichoderma, prior to sowing. He has already observed a more ‘livelier ’ soil, with a significantly higher number of earthworms, higher fungal:bacterial ratio, higher above-ground biodiversity, and better soil structure. His block will be a producing block this coming season, and I am sure he will reap the benefits of his hard work.

Guest speaker – Dr David Logan, Plant and Food Research

David showed us that there are several beneficial insects already present in our kiwifruit orchards, and how efforts in conserving and enhancing their population aid in better management of kiwifruit pests. A special focus was also on the recent work on biopesticides, and its challenges in production, formulation, and stability.

Guest speaker – Dr’s Octavio Perez-Garcia, Jayson Benge, Zespri

We received several updates on how Zespri understands the importance of RA practices and that they have also started research work focussed on RA practices, and its benefits vs challenges.

Guest speaker – Dr Jonathan Cutting, Trevelyan

Jonathan discussed the regen seed mix used in avocado growing conditions that included the success story at his own avocado orchard. Growers were able to immediately ‘connect’ with his work. The differences and challenges of certain regen species in kiwifruit orchards were also discussed.

Is growing organic kiwifruit any different to RA?

Yes, organic growing practices are on the lines of RA. The key messaging, however, is that a more holistic approach is required when looking after the environment and applying RA principles to both conventional and organic practices.. A holistic approach means a reduced number of agrichemical applications, timed and reduced fertiliser and/or compost applications, cover cropping (hence increased biodiversity), and reducing vehicular traffic as much as possible.

What else would you like us to do for you? Please get in touch with me ( I look forward to your thoughts on RA practices.

Thanks, Pranoy


MPI (2022). Regenerating Aotearoa: Investigating the impacts of regenerative farming practices.

Our Land and Water (2021). Regenerative agriculture in Aotearoa webinar series.

Organic Insights

Bex Astwood
Organic Category Manager

As I write this, all GAOB and HWOB fruit is on order or shipped, which makes it a good opportunity to provide an update on how we are looking for this season.

Trevelyan’s GAOB fruit loss sits at 1.68%, which is below the industry average of 3.15%. Trevelyan’s HWOB fruit loss sits at 0.49%, which is below the industry average of 3.59%. The export program is almost complete, and any outstanding volumes shown on your Inventory Reports will be trays on part pallets which should be reconciled and distributed over the next month.

With pollination just around the corner and the importance this can have on your crop, I thought I would touch on the basics. Dehiscence, the period when the flower is releasing pollen, differs between male and female flowers, and between varieties. Hayward female flowers are receptive for six to seven days with bud-burst enhancer use (10-15 days without), while Gold3 female flowers are only receptive for two to three days. Pollination contributes to the number of seeds in a fruit, which influences Hayward fruit size and Gold3 dry matter.

Artificial pollen can help optimise pollination, and can be applied in two ways:

  1. Wet application involves spraying a pollen/water mix directly onto the female flowers. This is useful when rain or cold weather reduces bee activity, and can be applied with handheld devices which allow targeting of individual flowers.
  2. Dry application involves blowing pollen onto the canopy, which can be distributed to female flowers by bee activity while the flowers are releasing pollen. This should be applied in warm, dry weather.

Tips for Organic growers to consider are:

  1. Oil can kill your bees! Ideally, spray well in advance of your bees’ arrival, and ensure it is dry to the touch.
  2. Biogro allows the use of non-BioGro certified pollen, however, this needs to be submitted as an input for approval. With this submission, a letter from your pollen supplier is required, which notes the source of the pollen and confirms there are no additives.
  3. Keep your beekeeper up-to-date with , and provide them with an orchard map and hazards list.

I hope that all of your pruning is now complete, however, if you have any issues please get in touch. I look forward to catching up soon.


Sarah Lei
Sustainability Manager

The importance of having a clear Sustainability Framework

Almost every time you listen to a radio news bulletin or pick up a newspaper these days, there is some discussion around environmental impacts, climate change, and the need for everyone to take action before it’s too late!

While many of us might be keen to do our part, it’s often hard to know where to start when faced with a seemingly overwhelming challenge.  At such times it is often helpful to take a step back and understand the real issues and impacts, and how they are likely to affect your business. From here you can build a solid foundation and develop a framework for action. In this way, you are more likely to set yourself and your business up for success and become more resilient to future challenges.

Sustainability is made up of three key factors; economic, environmental, and social, although there is frequently some overlap between the different areas. You can easily get an idea of some of the key industry issues by looking at the Industry Sustainability Framework, developed by Zespri.

Kiwifruit Sustainability Framework

Using a similar framework, we can quickly develop a list of the key sustainability issues for a typical kiwifruit orchard.


Maintaining productivity

Ensuring profitability

Minimising use of resources

Reducing waste

Reducing carbon emissions

Protecting water quality

Conserving water resources

Enhancing biodiversity

Providing healthy food Supporting local communities

Providing employment opportunities

Ensuring great health and safety outcomes

Every orchard will be slightly different depending on its location, size, varieties, etc. and every grower will have different values and ideas, but wherever you sit, there are four steps to help move you forward into action.

  1. Attention – Decide what you want to focus on. Do more research if required, educate your people, look for champions within your business and incentivise those who are making an effort.
  2. Vision – Be clear about where you are going. Be brave, decide whether you want to be a leader or a follower, look beyond your business, and make sure you have aligned your vision and goals.
  3. Operation – Work out how you are going to get there. Break down your vision into smaller actions, measure progress, collaborate with others in your supply chain and stay agile.
  4. Accountability – Decide who is responsible for what. Be transparent about your progress, adopt clear standards, define roles, and set targets.

The Zespri Carbon Neutral Trial is an example of a specific industry project where growers are working to understand and reduce their carbon emissions. The Wai Kōkopu project is a community-led programme who are on a mission to replenish and revitalize the health of the Waihī Estuary-and again, affected growers are involved with the project. Other growers might choose to focus on reducing plastic waste or supporting their local community.

There is a lot of action required but if we start with a clear framework, we can focus our efforts on where we can have a meaningful impact and help support our industry towards a more sustainable future.


Colin Olesen
TGL Chair

Quality Product and Quality Service

Your Directors September meeting had a very full agenda.

The quality of fruit seemed to permeate most conversations and debate. The prospect of an Explosives Fruit levy for Trevelyan growers was further discussed after an initial review at our July meeting. It has now been resolved that the implementation of the levy is agreed in principle, with the details still to be worked through and finalised. When this is completed, a full briefing will be provided to all growers so that they are well aware of what will apply for the 2023 harvest season.

The estimated lost revenue to Trevelyan growers for the 2022 harvest season from explosive fruit is in the vicinity of $700,000. That is no small sum. And because we want Trevelyan growers returns to be at the forefront of the kiwifruit industry, we want to ensure that monetary incentives and costs lie as near as possible to those that either incur those costs or earn the incentives. This ensures that the Trevelyan pools do not socialise the explosive fruit challenge.

I believe it is fair to say, even at this point in the selling season, that the extra effort, time, and cost put in by the Trevelyan packhouse teams during packing, to minimise the effect of explosive fruit has paid strong dividends for our growers. This will be ultimately disclosed in our Orchard Gate Return figures which are already looking healthy from an industry relative position.

Your Directors agreed that not just the industry, but we at Trevelyan’s, have a quality issue that simply must be addressed to protect the Zespri brand and the premium price that it commands in the market. We are determined to be industry leaders, not followers, in sorting out the challenges.

Your Directors also slightly amended the Kiwistart rules for inclusion in weekly allocations which will ensure a more certain pathway at the time of harvest for Kiwistart participants.

For TGL it is election time. This year three Directors that retire by rotation, but are eligible for re-election, they are Terry Newlands, Jeff Roderick and Stephen Wright. Nominations are open for the three positions. Please consider who you feel should be nominated. If you require more information on what is required of a TGL Director please ask me or any current TGL Director. A nomination form can be obtained from the Trevelyan’s office and nominations close at 5 pm on the 13th of October.

Colin Olesen – Chair


Zespri GAP Audit Inspections

The GAP team will begin booking audits from the first week of October, these need to be completed by the end of December 2022.

Please check you have an up-to-date water test result from your fill station if you are not on town supply.

Ensure you hold a copy of the Compliance Assessment Verification (CAV) for harvesters, sprayers, fertilisers, and vine management contractors for the time that they have undertaken work on your orchard.

Your help is needed

We are currently reviewing the Trevelyan’s Growers Portal.
Currently, the Growers Portal provides our growers with 24/7, private and personalised information, alongside, great resources and technical advice that is housed conveniently all in one place.

We ask that you please take a moment to answer six questions pertaining to the Growers Portal- your help will provide us with valuable information, so that we can ultimately provide a superior customer service experience.