Investing your levies: key activity outcomes


Summerfruit NZ consistently captures grants to underpin our key research.

  • Since 2014 $1.1 million in grants secured for summerfruit research programmes.
  • Funding has been received from the Sustainable Farming Fund, AGMARDT, Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust, Heinz Wattie's, Summerfruit Exporters Committee.
  • 18 projects underway and/or completed since 2014.
  • Four projects with a duration of five years or more.

Research extension and tech transfer:

  • SummerGreen meetings in Hawkes Bay and Central Otago.
  • R&D days and ongoing tech transfer.
  • Research & development presentations at the annual conference.

We continue to build strong partnerships with the Sustainable Farming Fund, Plant & Food Research, and Heinz Wattie's.


Crop protection

  • Annual review of the PHIs and MRLs for both export and NZ markets.
  • Annual PHI wall charts for export apricots and cherries.
  • Registration of new agrichemicals.
  • Summerfruit NZ is a partner organisation in the Future Crop Protection PGP coordinated by HortNZ ‘A Lighter Touch’.


NZ market

  • Brown rot action plan developed.
  • Fungicide resistance testing regime established.
  • Weekly seasonal update delivered electronically.
  • Upgraded grower and packhouse communications.
  • Consumer behavioural research (Nielsen); 2016 & 2017.
  • Cool chain research.
  • Maturity guides available.
  • Growing degree days online.


New varieties

  • The first five apricot varieties have been released from the Summerfruit NZ/Plant & Food Research breeding programme for commercialisation via NZ Summer Fresh (a grower led cooperative).
    • Nzsummer2.
    • Nzsummer3.
    • Nzsummer4.
    • Nzsummer92.
    • Nzsummer820.
  • Tasting and field walks of Nzsummer series apricots in Hawkes Bay and Central Otago.
  • Submission on reform of Plant Variety Rights Act.



New markets

  • Opening new markets, eg application for our apricots to China.


Maintaining access

Fighting to maintain or regain access for a market where the import or phytosanitary conditions have changed, affecting our ability to export there. For example:

  • EU & Switzerland compliance programme removed.


Improving existing markets

  • Reduction of the frequency of audits by the Japan inspector.
  • Change of the phytosanitary inspection requirement by Korea from 2% to the standard 600 fruit sample inspection.




  • Industry consultation and mandate gained to become a partner under GIA.
  • GIA Deed signed 2017.
  • Fruit Fly Council member since 2017.
  • Governance Group member since 2017.
  • Biosecurity levy consultation and industry referendum completed 2018.
  • Part of BMSB council application to EPA for release of Samurai Wasp.
  • Biosecurity (Readiness and Response – Summerfruit) Levy Order 2019.
  • Summerfruit industry biosecurity strategy completed 2019.


Operational agreements

  • Fruit Fly Operational Agreement signed 2017.
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Operational Agreement signed 2018.
  • Xylella Fastidiosa – in development.
  • Drosophila Suzukii – in development.


Readiness activities

  • Pest and disease most wanted poster – printed and online.
  • Pest and disease fact sheets – 13 online.
  • Orchard biosecurity manual – online.
  • Biosecurity micro credential – partner in development with Primary ITO and other horticulture associations.



  • Summerfruit NZ annual conference.
  • SummerGreen interactive manual online.
  • Websites and
  • Secure grower portal:
    • online export registration
    • online levy payment
    • growing degree days
    • resources.
  • Metservice weather tools.
  • Prunings distributed fortnightly throughout the season and as required during the rest of the year.
  • Summerfruit NZ and Handpicked Crew social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.



  • Handpicked Crew campaign
      • Crew Card – rewards incentive programme
      • Social media
      • Website
      • Regional employee events
  • Government policy work
      • RSE - sourcing and repatriation
      • Immigration NZ - visa criteria
      • Ministry of Social Development – NZ Seasonal Work Scheme
  • University and regional job expos
  • Grower education/workshops
  • Job seeker engagement/referral
  • Collaboration with other product groups on PickNZ horticulture specific seasonal recruitment tool


Emerging issues

  • Emissions reduction and climate change adaptation.
  • Access to water.
  • Social license and right to farm.
  • Supply chain disruption.
  • Large external investment in cherry orchards.