New Zealand’s 2022 apple season is well underway, with T&G Global harvesting the first of this season’s apples. Together with its growers, T&G is planning to pick more than 6.5 million tray carton equivalents (TCEs) this year – the equivalent of 120,000,000 kilograms of apples.

Craig Betty, Director of Operations for T&G Global, says the quality is looking good across all varieties this season, with fruit generally sizing well.

“For our premium JAZZ™ and Envy™ brands, we’re seeing good quality and fruit size better than 2021,” says Craig.

“With hot and humid weather for early harvest in the Hawke’s Bay, striking the right conditions to develop good foreground colour has been challenging, but the recent change of weather should see this improve. In the South Island, we’ve seen higher than usual rainfall in spring, followed by warm summer temperatures which should see a full crop and improved sizing on 2021.

“Customers and consumers both here in New Zealand and overseas seek out great-tasting, high-quality apples, and this year’s crop should not disappoint.”

T&G’s early-season apple, branded Poppi™, is the company’s first variety to be harvested in February, followed by Royal Gala, JAZZ™ and Envy™ over the coming months.

The first Poppi™ apples harvested in the Hawke’s Bay

“Thanks to its early ripening qualities, Poppi™ is one of the first New Zealand apple brands of the season to arrive in our highly competitive Asian markets.”

With a high-quality crop due to be harvested, T&G is doing its best to proactively manage this season’s challenges and uncertainties.

“Without a doubt it’s going to be a tough season given New Zealand’s tight labour market, the absence of working holiday visa workers, continuing global supply chain challenges, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 across the country and globe,” says Craig.

“For the last two years we’ve worked with COVID-19, prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our people, growers and communities – while at the same time keeping fresh produce flowing to customers and consumers. This year, we’ll do it again, but we’re under no illusion as to how difficult the year will be.

“Across the country, we’re recruiting extensively to bring in much needed additional team members to help minimise the shortages we’re facing. We have business continuity plans in place across our supply chain and are continually monitoring the situation so we can move quickly to navigate and minimise the challenges which may come our way.”

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