Central Otago cherry growers are expecting record volumes of fruit this season. New Zealanders should see plenty of cherries for sale pre-Christmas, with picking starting late November or early December and continuing through into January.
Export picking would start mid-December and while growers were positive, they were also a little nervous dealing with a potentially record crop after so many difficult years. Cherry growers were hopeful the labor shortages were also behind them with strong inquiries for work this season coming from university students and backpackers.
Key markets for New Zealand cherries included Taiwan, China, Thailand and Vietnam, with United States and Canada becoming more important for some of the smaller, lower value fruit.