Commitment to quality underpins kiwifruit brand’s growing popularity in Australian market.NutriKiwi continues to underline its status as New Zealand’s largest supplier of green kiwifruit into the Australia market, thanks largely to continued investment from the post-harvest operators behind the venture.The brand has been developed by EastPack, Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool, DMS Progrowers and Opotiki Packing & Cool Storage – four leading kiwifruit packhouses in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty that are each pouring resources into their operations to deliver top quality fruit.EastPack has recently invested NZ$40m in new technologies and infrastructure to help improve grading efficiency. This includes the installation of a new “super grader” powered by Compac’s Spectrim platform.‘‘It’s the next generation of camera grading,” EastPack chief executive Hamish Simson said. “The more accurately you can measure a grade standard or tolerance, the closer you can get to the maximum possible pack out.’’DMS Progrowers has recently unveiled a NZ$9m coolstore development in Te Puke, while a NZ$12.5m upgrade to its Te Puna site came on stream for the 2017 season.“The Te Puna development, which includes four new coolstores and supporting site expansions, is the biggest ever for DMS, reflecting the growing of the business and ensuring we are able to maintain our high-quality standards with increased fruit volumes,” said DMS director Craig Greenlees.OPAC has also made a significant investment in its packing and cool storage capabilities at its Opotiki site over the past three years, to meet continued growth in Gold3 (SunGold) volumes supplied by growers across the Eastern Bay and Gisborne regions. Planning is well underway for a further NZ$15m of capital investment during 2017/18 to ensure OPAC can continue supplying high quality fruit.Meanwhile, Trevelyan’s remains at the forefront of sustainability. It has recently released its third annual Sustainability Report, which analyses its economic, social and environmental performance and shows how the company tackled issues such as carbon emissions, waste to landfill, biodiversity and corporate social responsibility during 2016.Under the NutriKiwi brand, the four companies collectively control half of all green kiwifruit available to be shipped from New Zealand to Australia between May and November each year.“One of our competitive edges is we only export Class A fruit to Australia,” explained NutriKiwi general manager Michael Leach. “This permits 5 per cent blemishes or shape defects compared to Class 2 fruit which allows 10 per cent and is what other New Zealand kiwifruit companies typically send to this market.“NutriKiwi’s sole focus is to deliver great-tasting green kiwifruit to Australian consumers. The substantial new investments our partners are making in their individual operations will certainly help us achieve that.”

As published on by Matthew Jones, Tuesday 22nd August 2017