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Persimmon crop up by 20 percent

The annual persimmon harvest has been going for about 10 days and First Fresh, New Zealand’s leading persimmon exporter, expects an increase in volumes this season by up to 20 percent in Gisborne.

First Fresh managing director Ian Albers said favourable growing conditions have helped the crop this season.

“The major reason for the increased volume of fruit though is the amount of additional planting that’s occurred, and existing growers increasing their acreage.

“We had a pretty decent spring and the Gisborne summer was a good mix of heat and moisture, so growing conditions have been good all the way through.”

Mr Albers expects volumes to rise by 15-20 percent.

“First Fresh now market around 70 percent of New Zealand’s total persimmon crop.

“We have a strict standard for export which is set by New Zealand’s Persimmon Industry Council, to ensure all fruit from this country is of a minimum standard.”

The First Fresh persimmon harvest season runs between April and June.

Their major overseas markets will again be in Australia, then Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, with the US market developing.

HARVEST UNDER WAY: Persimmons have been coming off Gisborne trees since late April and First Fresh believes crop volumes this season could be up by as much as 20 percent because of extra plantings and a good season weather-wise. File picture