The majority of successful tenders for new Zespri SunGold licences have come from the Bay of Plenty but there is also a good spread across other regions, says Zespri’s chief operating officer. As a result of the process, new plantings won’t be concentrated in one area, says Simon Limmer.
The average size of the successful bid is for 1.31 hectares for the restricted tender, open to existing growers of green Hayward fruit and the variety known as G14, and 1.77 hectares for the unrestricted tender. Three times as many hectares as on offer were applied for in the tender licensing process, the results of which were announced on Tuesday night. Zespri offered licenses for the equivalent of 400 hectares but the process attracted bids for 1,376 hectares. At the end of the tender process, licenses have been awarded to 266 bidders.
A further release of 1200 hectares of SunGold licence is planned in three more tranches and subject to further board consideration over the next three years. Simon says while growers who missed out are probably disappointed, they may have a chance to tender again, if the board decides to release more licences.
A 200 ha of licence went to growers of green Hayward or G14 fruit, which will likely mean less green fruit to sell, avoiding the need to crop manage as Zespri has done this season. “Every year throws up different challenges. The environment has been a major role in the timing of recent harvests and size of fruit and it remains to be seen what next season brings.”
Green growers deciding to graft some of their vines to SunGold will provide a better balance between the green and gold crop. Simon says green remains a popular kiwifruit in the markets but Zespri SunGold is also attracting new consumers to the category, which is a good thing.
In future, kiwifruit growers may be grafting vines to new varieties more often as Zespri’s plant breeding programme produces fruit of different colours, taste, health attributes or convenience for eating. While more new varieties are currently under trial, none are yet ready for commercial release.
Read in full: http://www.sunlive.co.nz/news/129214-bop-growers-successful-tender.html