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The end of 2011 saw big changes in the New Zealand organic apple industry with some significant players pulling out altogether and emergence of new key players, according to FreshPlaza.com.

Some organic orchards were taken out of apple production or converted to conventional. The remaining orchard leases were taken over by JB Organics, part of the Bostock Group located in the Hawkes Bay region, which now grows and markets the majority of New Zealand’s organic apple crop.

A total of thirteen growers have exited the industry and it is estimated there have been 500,000 cartons removed from organic supply in New Zealand in the last 12 months. JB Organics will export close to 700,000 cartons this coming season, which amounts to almost 90% of the total organic apple crop, an increase of 60% from last year.

It is fitting that John Bostock, owner of JB Organics remains. John is New Zealands’ first ever commercial organic apple grower. He started to develop and champion the organic production techniques that enabled other commercial growers to convert to organic back in 1996 and is still leading the technical innovation in organic growing to this day.

Despite recent hardships in the industry, improved economy of scale and market share is expected to ensure JB Organics’ survival along with its long held strategy to export the right fruit, in the right packaging, to the right place at the right time.

In addition, growing food safety and environmental concerns worldwide have ensured that consumers remain willing to pay a premium for organic food. A significant reduced organic volume from the Southern Hemisphere this year is expected to provide strong export prices that will assist to offset the effect of weak currencies in the markets.

JB Organics are seeing increasing interest from Asia and continuing growth in North America and look forward to developing new marketing channels while continuing to support its existing customer base in 2012. Source: FreshPlaza.com

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