Craig Betty, Director of Operations for T&G Global said the apple crop is shaping up beautifully with great quality, good sized apples.

“New Zealand is home to some of the world’s best apples, including the internationally popular JAZZ and Envy, and this year the crop is looking superb, with a fantastic flavour," said Betty.

“Across the world consumers look for different attributes in their apples – American and Asian consumers love them big and bright red, and which don’t brown when cut. Kiwi consumers tend to go for apples rich in flavour and colour and are fans of our snack-sized JAZZ apples for convenience.

“Our growers across the Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Nelson and Otago are experts at knowing when the time is right to pick each variety of apple to meet consumers’ needs."

Harvesting of Royal Gala apples began in late February and the T&G team, together with a New Zealand-first robotic harvester, are now picking the premium JAZZ and Envy apples.

While COVID-19 is creating some uncertainty in terms of global trading, T&G Global is continuing to export to most of its 45 international markets.

“Over the past week, the first shipments of JAZZ apples have headed to ports in Hong Kong and Malaysia, with further shipments to China, Thailand, Belgium, UK and the Middle East on track to leave over the next few days.

“Across Asia we’ve seen some softening in demand, however orders across most markets remain steady and we’re currently shipping to plan.

“We’re continually monitoring the situation and have alternative sales plans across a range of regions, markets and channels so we can move quickly to mitigate any changes or effects from COVID-19."

“As an Essential Service, T&G has a critical role to play in keeping fresh fruit and vegetables moving through the supply chain to our fellow New Zealanders and consumers around the world. Safety is always our top priority, and we’ve implemented additional COVID-19 safe work practices across our entire business to help keep our people and communities safe.

“To help process the harvest, we’re also actively recruiting for forklift operators, tractor drivers and packhouse workers mainly in Hawke’s Bay and Nelson, and glasshouse workers in Auckland, and we encourage anyone interested to get in touch with T&G.”