Welcome to our Winter Newsletter,

Our day-to-day way of life in New Zealand has for the most part returned to normal; however, with the threat of COVID-19 still looming and numbers spiralling outside of New Zealand’s borders we cannot become complacent.

Conditions for our business in certain areas are challenging. The positives of this situation are that we produce an amazing fruit packed with goodness.
More consumers in Asia have developed a greater awareness and need for healthy food during the pandemic and more have indicated they will continue this mindset even after the pandemic is over. Inside this newsletter Jacob and Midge cover more on COVID-19’s potential impact on our NZ avocado season.

In preparation for export, we have been transitioning our growers from NZ GAP to GLOBALG.A.P.. This process has been tracking nicely with our Grower Compliance Coordinator Jude Reyland doing an outstanding job of working with growers and making this as simple as possible – thanks Jude!

New staff who have joined us recently are Pieter Steyn in the role of Woodland Road Business Manager and Chris Wahlstrom in the role of Group Logistics Manager. Both have strong backgrounds and bring new skills to the team. Pieter is responsible for maximising the efficiency and profitability of our Katikati avocado packhouse, coolstorage, and ripening and distribution facility and managing staff therein. Pieter has previously held management roles in the wine and kiwifruit industries including working for Baygold. Chris is responsible for all international and onshore logistics across key Darling Group fresh produce. The management of logistics for New Zealand avocados will make up the majority of his tasks.

Chris has previously worked in export logistics for a number of shipping lines including Cooltainer, Reefer Logistics – Kuehne + Nagel, and Mediterranean Shipping Company.

Inside the following pages, Erica talks about how critical this period of time is to tree health and ensuring improved as well as more consistent production; we feature the stories of growers Grant and Samantha Kokich and Chris and Jenni Shallard and their success following Erica’s orchard management programmes; and John and Kyra give a roundup of what’s happening in Northland and the Bay of Plenty.

Happy reading.


Andrew Darling

Just Avocados winter newsletter