Zespri forecasts record grower returns for 2014/15 season

Media Release - 17 December 2014

Record per-hectare returns for Green and Organic Green are forecast this season as a combination of supply constraint, favourable market conditions and strong end-of-season sales leads to increased Zespri grower returns across all categories. Per-hectare returns for Green growers are forecast at $52,987 and Organic Green at $42,207.

Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager says these returns are the result of great work from growers, the post-harvest sector, the Zespri team onshore and in the markets, and our retail and trade partners.

Mr Jager explains the overall result reflects some unique, one-off factors. “A shortage of supply of Green kiwifruit from Chile and constrained supply of Gold kiwifruit from New Zealand have supported pricing, while Zespri’s foreign exchange hedging policy has mitigated against the strong value of the New Zealand dollar.”

In the latest December forecast, Green Orchard Gate Return (OGR) per tray has increased 20 cents to $5.91 – the highest per-tray returns since 2003 – compared with $5.71 forecast in October and $5.23 in 2013/14. This increase reflects lower fruit loss in Europe and Japan and fewer quality claims in Europe and East Asia. Zespri estimates that a combination of strong sales and pricing, and an early, tidy finish to the season which allowed for reduction in promotional spending has added around 60 cents to the final Green OGR.

The forecast Organic Green OGR per tray is up 28 cents to $7.09. The forecast Gold OGR is up 15 cents to $9.72, supported by higher average pricing in East Asia, and the forecast Green14 OGR has increased 14 cents to $7.12.

“This result is a credit to the hard work and determination of our industry. Our industry still faces challenges, as we continue the recovery from Psa, but we have much to be positive about,” says Mr Jager.

“Looking to next season, we will keep our focus on communicating health to consumers, developing markets and delivering great-tasting fruit through the most efficient supply chain possible.”

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