25 March 2019




Week 12

Week ending Sunday 24 March

Welcome to this edition of our grower update. It’s raining, and the forecast is for more rain and unsettled weather after a long hot dry period. Rain and cooler temperatures are on the way.

Generally, the teams have been very happy with the SunGold presented to date. We are down on estimate by around 7.5%, which is typical for the early harvest. Reject rates have been very low and we have some growers who have packed out at 97 trays per bin. Outrageously good.

The first of the SunGold organic crop was packed over the weekend, with the supply cap closing midnight last night.

Seeka has its first Hayward in the canopy and this will be packed in the next day or so.

Across the industry the performance of the maturity testing has added to the stress of harvest. Growers rightly have an expectation of better performance with delayed and erroneous reporting dogging the system. Zespri has contracted both Eurofins and VLS (Seeka’s laboratory) to undertake maturity testing with Eurofins undertaking all the orchard sampling. To be fair Eurofins do the lion’s share of the maturity testing but it is unfair to lay all the blame with them.

Both labs have had to cope with late arrivals of samples. The samples take a specified amount of time to process, dry and analyse. In the case of VLS, Zespri contracted VLS to undertake a specific number of samples per day, and VLS is meeting that number. The testing specifications set by Zespri for 2019 severely limit the throughputs of both labs by limiting capacity and specifying a longer drying time than had been previously in place. The capacity constraint is the function of both limiting how many layers are placed in a dehumidifier and how long the samples are dried for. Late sample arrivals lead to late reporting – it’s simply a function of time. It would appear that Zespri as the contracting company on behalf of growers has underestimated the demand. Seeka has suggested some changes which would dramatically increase the throughput and performance of both labs.

Zespri struggle with the idea that we should change the specification during harvest, thinking that if we tweaked the specification mid-flight then it would be unfair to growers. So it seems the lower than expected performance is set to continue.

Grower Share Scheme Reminder
Seeka Growers offer closes 29 March, Aongatete Growers offer closes 5 April

You should have an offer from Link Market Services in your email, if you don’t please contact your client relationship manager. This is a valuable offer – please don’t forget we cannot let late applications into the scheme.

To the numbers:

  Industry Seeka 
SunGold conventional trays (packed) 10.900m 2.290m (20.7%)
Average size 29.61 28.96


  Industry  Seeka 
SunGold organic trays (packed) 189k 26k (13.8%)
Average size 29.3 25.3


Happy and safe harvesting


Seeka Key