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ZESPRI Focus Orchard Network

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ZESPRI is committed to helping growers maximise their orchard profitability and bringing together orchardists, Zespri technical staff, and Plant & Food Research scientists to develop and implement best-practice orchard management plans on eight "focus orchards". Progress is monitored and shared with the wider industry to demonstrate the outcomes of certain on-orchard decisions.

Eurofins BOP is actively involved in the Zespri focus orchard network providing crop estimation, maturity monitoring and fruit library services. This project aims to lift orchard performance for the orchards involved and ultimately the industry through open sharing of the knowledge gained.

Eurofins delivers this information to program via the Eurofins Bay of Plenty website.

Funded by ZESPRI and the Sustainable Farming Fund, the three-year project is an industry learning programme using the focus orchards as demonstration properties to show the different management options available to produce fruit with the attributes desired by Zespri's export markets, and the financial implications on the orchard?s bottom-line to producing and supplying such fruit. Progress is monitored and shared with the wider industry to demonstrate the outcomes of certain on-orchard decisions.

The success of the project will be judged by a lift in net orchard surplus for participating orchards and the wider grower community. The financial performance of the individual focus orchards is benchmarked against the other participants, the industry average, the performance of the ARGOS orchard network and the MAF Kiwifruit Model. The results of the benchmarking analysis is communicated to industry so that the financial consequences of different management approaches are widely understood.

By demonstrating what is possible to achieve and how to achieve it, it is hoped that the wider grower community will have the confidence to adopt management practices that will add value to their own orchard operations.