New Zealand cherry producers are flying helicopters low over their orchards to dry off raindrops and protect thousands of tonnes of their product headed to Asia to feed rapidly growing demand from Chinese New Year revelers. China has grown to become the second largest destination for New Zealand cherries after Taiwan in the past seven years. Together they take about 60 percent of cherry exports, which were worth about NZ$43 million ($31 million) last year. Last week New Zealand exported 900 tonnes of cherries, the largest amount recorded in a one-week period. Exports are expected to grow to around NZ$50 million this season, according to Tim Jones, chairman of Summerfruit NZ, which represents growers. "The demand is phenomenal," said Tracey Burns, who handles international cherry sales at produce exporter Freshmax. Singapore Airlines said it is re-directing four cargo flights from Auckland to Christchurch to pick up 300 tonnes of cherries to be shipped on to cities in mainland China,...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.