Commercial > Types of Cargo > Pipfruit Industry


Nelson is the second largest apple growing area in New Zealand

Pipfruit Industry


Nelson is the second largest apple growing area in New Zealand. As a traditional pipfruit growing area the backbone of the local industry was the small family operated orchard.
Since deregulation of the industry in 2001 the landscape of the industry changed significantly as the defunct single desk seller overnight became almost 100 registered exporters. In 2004 the region started to see the smaller orchardists selling up and leaving the industry while larger growers actively bought and redeveloped land to achieve economy of scale.
One of the primary reasons for growers exiting the industry was the financial impact of two successive years of extremely poor market returns that could not be sustained by the smaller growers.


There are still a few small growers remaining however larger integrated companies dominate the apple industry in Nelson. Three of the largest being;

Turners & Growers International who own the ENZA brand

Heartland Group

Fresh Co.


The traditional apple crop varieties of Cox, Royal Gala and Braeburn have been joined by new licensed varieties such as Jazz and T28 (unnamed). These new varieties are increasingly being grown in the region and it is hoped the differentiation of the new varieties in the market will yield higher returns back to the growers.


In 2007 the apple crop was just under 5,000,000 cartons, weather, fruit size and quality contributing to the lower than estimated (5.5 million) crop export. Five million cartons of apples convert to about 200,000 m3.

Export (FY 2007/2008)

Conventional shipments: 42,000 m3 (7 charter vessels)
Containerised shipments: 181,000 m3 (3,440 Feu)


Europe/UK takes 50% of the fruit crop, with the USA and S.E Asia other main markets.