Concerns persist among growers in Hawke's Bay regarding future challenges


  Added a month ago

  By Elizabeth-Marie Nes

Concerns persist among growers in Hawke's Bay regarding future challenges

Although there is some optimism among apple growers in Hawke's Bay, it masks a genuine and uncertain apprehension about the future. John Paynter, the executive chair of the Yummy Fruit Company, one of the region's largest family-owned orcharding companies, explains that despite outward appearances, both large and small growers are concerned about cash flow and their ability to secure further capital to revive their businesses. Paynter emphasises that while horticulture presents opportunities to derive value from the land, it demands substantial investment. He highlights the challenge of obtaining financing after experiencing crop losses, as it depends on the individual's asset base.

In Paynter's view, there are significant gaps in revenue for major horticultural operators in Hawke's Bay, which will have detrimental effects. He criticises New Zealand's banking regulations, claiming that banks are supportive only when there is no debt, but show reluctance to address the challenges faced by orchardists and growers in the region.

Cyclone damage has affected not only orchardists but also farmers engaged in other crops, exacerbating financial pressures. Paynter's company, Yummy Fruit, has suffered losses and is seeking assistance from the Kanoa fund established by the government to aid those affected by adverse weather events. Despite potential relief from such funds, Paynter notes a reluctance among individuals to take on more debt.

Looking ahead, Paynter anticipates a prolonged recovery period for Yummy Fruit and suggests that larger businesses may seek external capital to strengthen their financial positions. Despite financial setbacks, the company remains committed to supporting its staff and maintaining a positive outlook.

While acknowledging the efforts of organisations like Apple and Pears NZ, Paynter calls for a review to clarify roles and improve effectiveness across the sector. He stresses the need for strong leadership from government, industry, and business to navigate the challenges ahead.


Join the conversation

Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave a comment

All comments are reviewed before they are published on the website. Your email address will not be published.

Fill out my online form.
What’s happening out at Sea from the Napier Port
What’s happening out at Sea from the Napier Port
Added 2 days ago
The Story Behind Foxtrot Home - Passion, Farming, and Sustainable Homewares
The Story Behind Foxtrot Home - Passion, Farming, and Sustainable Homewares
Added 6 days ago
Exploring Regenerative Agriculture's Potential Through Seven Years of Scientific Inquiry
Exploring Regenerative Agriculture's Potential Through Seven Years of Scientific Inquiry
Added 7 days ago
Carbon Positive March Update
Carbon Positive March Update
Added 3 weeks ago
Te Mata Estate rolls out new agro-ecological production system after four year trial, with excellent results
Te Mata Estate rolls out new agro-ecological production system after four year trial, with excellent results
Added 3 weeks ago
Greencollar celebrates first harvest
Greencollar celebrates first harvest
Added 3 weeks ago