$3m profit bonus for HB apple growers
Hawke’s Bay apple growers are receiving a bonus of about $3-million from the Apple and Pear Marketing Board’s record profit of $18-million.
The profit was announced yesterday by board chairman and Havelock grower, Mr Ken Kiddle. The payout was announced two weeks ago.
It equals 60 cents a carton and follows a 15 per cent increase in the basic price announced in July for all fruit submitted to the board.
Hawke’s Bay growers harvested about 46 per cent of the country’s apple crop, the board’s manager Mr Tony Cross, said.
Growers this year received better prices than ever although the bonus was not the highest profit payout.
But the growers’ overall income was not as high as expected following some adverse weather, apart from hail, which reduced harvests, he said.
“There was a slight downturn in volume for most growers.”
Prospects for another profitable year next year have dampened by bountiful apple crops being harvested in the northern hemisphere.
“We are not as likely to be as optimistic for next year as we were at the start of this year,” Mr Cross said.
This year’s profit followed a loss of $11-million last year after heavy crops in northern hemisphere countries.
In the previous four years the board had made profits.
Mr Kiddle said pipfruit was New Zealand’s largest horticultural export industry and a new record had been set with export sales reaching $128-million this year.
This represented a 25 per cent increase over the previous top figure of $103-million. The board’s total sales, including domestic sales within New Zealand, reached $158-million for the board’s 1982 financial year.
Mr Kiddle said both export sales and total sales have more than doubled in the last five years.
“Returns and our export markets dictate the profitability or otherwise of our trading and this has been a most successful selling season,” he said.
“We have obtained premium prices this year. It is imperative that we maintain this position and that at every stage of moving apples and pears from the tree to the consumer New Zealand growers identify with the goal of top quality from New Zealand,” he said.
Mr Kiddle said that of the total profit achieved, $5-million would be retained as a contribution to the board’s capital development programme whilst the balance of $13-million would be split equally between the board’s stabilisation account and a distribution to growers.