T&G Global, one of New Zealand’s largest exporters of apples and one of the largest growers in the country, celebrates 10 years of the first planting of Envy™ apple trees in Gisborne today.

Starting with just three Envy™ growers in 2009, there are now 12 growing partners in the region growing the internationally popular, premium, red apple.

This spring, 20,000 Envy™ apple trees are being planted across the Gisborne region meaning the district will produce around 500,000 cartons by 2026 and a potential $15.5 million-a-year gain for Gisborne.

The massive planting programme was started on the back of significantly higher demand for the apple, particularly in Asian and USA markets.

Local post-harvest facilities are excellent in Gisborne with Kaiaponi Farms investing in cool stores and packhouse equipment to prepare for future growth.

T&G Global’s New Zealand supply manager Ivan Angland said Gisborne’s fertile soils and early access to the global markets was an advantage and a significant number of growers in the region, previously involved in grapes and citrus, have moved to apples due to the export potential for the premium varieties.

“Geographically, Gisborne is well suited for early supply (March & April) and the district is aligning itself for long-term supply with strategic partners.

“Many growers are choosing to plant Envy, which is a large crisp apple with great flavour and a wide market appeal and is experiencing a surge in popularity.”

Mr Angland said American consumers have picked Envy as their favourite apple over the past few years (US Apple Association) and this year it was named the most preferred apple based on taste, texture and appearance, in independent consumer research conducted in the US.

“The revival of the apple industry is very exciting for the district. The potential is huge.”