Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ shoppers welcome the start of summer stonefruit season

New Zealand shoppers welcome the start of summer stonefruit season

The summer stonefruit season is only 10 weeks long, from mid-December to March, but New Zealanders certainly make the most of it.

Figures from Summerfruit NZ show that in the 2016-17 season, New Zealanders consumed 4,064 tonnes of nectarines; 3,579 tonnes of peaches; 2,366 tonnes of plums; 1,737 tonnes of apricots and 1,683 tonnes of cherries.

Export volumes are much lower – apart from cherries, which do well in Asian countries. Around 66% of New Zealand’s cherries are exported – some 3,396 tonnes last year.
“Stonefruit is very much a summer product, and there’s a sense of urgency about it, because by the end of March it’s all gone,” Chairman of the Yummy Fruit Company John Paynter says. “When the weather is warm, people love summerfruit, it sells so well.”

Over those 10 weeks, the Yummy Fruit Company produces 2 million kilos of stonefruit from its Hawkes Bay orchards. Of this, 70 percent is sold through Foodstuffs’ supermarkets – New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square.

“We have a long-standing relationship with the Yummy Fruit Company,” Foodstuffs North Island’s GM Merchandise David Stewart says. “The quality of the stonefruit they provide us with is superb – our customers really look forward to it,” he says.

John Paynter and his sons are the fourth and fifth generation of Paynters to be involved in this family business.

“My family started growing fruit in Nelson in 1862, so that’s 155 years. I founded the Yummy brand in 1974. It’s a story of survival really. You don’t do this for the money – if you didn’t enjoy it, it would be really hard work. I have 100 people on my role of honour, who’ve been with the company for five years or more. There are some who’ve been with us for 40 years. The corporate knowledge is immense. You learn it on the job, it’s not something you learn at university. They are unbelievably dedicated people, and I want all of them to treat the business as if they own it.

“Our staff work six days a week over the summer, and long hours. The vagaries of the weather affect the dynamics of the business. You can have the best-laid plans, and then it’s wet in the morning. So our staff have to be very dedicated.

“During the harvest we have up to 600 people working for us, and 300 in the off-season. Some come back to work for us every season.

“Most of my friends are retired, but I still enjoy what I do. I still do a lot of store visits myself. Last year, we did 100 around Auckland. I know all the produce managers and they know me.

“A stonefruit tree lasts 15 years, so every year we produce new trees in our company nursery.

The company has eight orchard operations covering some 600ha of the Heretaunga Plains.

“When I started in the business, we only had five hectares,” John says.

“We are always combing the world for new varieties of nectarines from Europe and America to bring to New Zealand. It takes 10 years to get it into production from when we first see it. We’re always looking for better taste, bigger fruit and nicer colours – all the things that appeal to consumers.

“In the last few years we’ve introduced nectarines with different flavour profiles and colourings. We have a range of yellow and white flesh nectarines. Some of them taste like the nectarines of old – these are our Classic range. Then there are our sweeter nectarines - our Hunny range - which are not as tart. They have a broad appeal and are now our number one stonefruit product. We also have white flesh pearl nectarines.”

Schoolchildren know the Yummy brand well, because they can collect the Yummy stickers from their fruit on behalf of their school. The schools then exchange the stickers for new sports equipment every year.

John Paynter and his team are hoping for a long, hot Auckland summer.

“When the weather is warm in Auckland, summer fruit sells really well. It’s such a great feeling when you can’t keep the retail shelves full.”

- Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Commerce Commission: Latest Broadband Report Confirms Improved Performance Of Premium Fibre Plans

The latest report from the Commerce Commission’s Measuring Broadband New Zealand programme shows that the performance of Fibre Max plans has improved substantially. This follows a collaboration between the Commission, its independent testing partner, ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Cartel Conduct Now Punishable By Up To 7 Years’ Jail Time

Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, after the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 came into effect today. Cartel conduct includes price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging (see ... More>>

Stats NZ: Auckland Population May Hit 2 Million In Early 2030s

Auckland’s population may rise from about 1.7 million currently to 2 million by early next decade, Stats NZ said today. “Auckland will likely have the highest average annual growth of New Zealand’s 16 regions over the next 30 years, from ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Impact Of Demands On Land In New Zealand

A new environmental report released today by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, presents new data on New Zealand’s land cover, soil quality, and land fragmentation. The land cover data in the report, Our land 2021 , provides the most ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: March Card Spending Rebounds Despite COVID

There was a lift in retail card spending in March following a fall in the lockdown-disrupted February month, Stats NZ said today. Seasonally adjusted retail card spending rose by $53 million (0.9 percent), compared with February 2021. Visit our website to read ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>