The cherry on the top

Whitney Affleck, of Alexandra, picks the cherries before they are taken back to the orchard's...
Whitney Affleck, of Alexandra, picks the cherries before they are taken back to the orchard's packhouse and stored in the coolroom. Photos by Sarah Marquet.
Marcus Lo, of Hong Kong, sorts cherries taken from the coolroom then sends them along a water...
Marcus Lo, of Hong Kong, sorts cherries taken from the coolroom then sends them along a water race type system to be chilled, before they are graded by a machine.
Once the cherries have been graded they are sent along a conveyor belt to where staff such as...
Once the cherries have been graded they are sent along a conveyor belt to where staff such as Danica Worrall, of Canada, pack them into 2kg boxes. This box is bound for export.
As the boxes are filled and closed, they are passed through a window into another coolroom where...
As the boxes are filled and closed, they are passed through a window into another coolroom where people such as Andrew Necklen, of Alexandra, pack them into larger boxes.

Central Otago cherry growers had previously said, despite a slow start to the season and smaller crops, some were making more money per kilogram than this time last year, partly because of fruit losses in Nelson and Marlborough.

Summerfruit Orchards, in Earnscleugh, harvested 1.5 tonnes of Sonnet cherries in the first pick of the season on Saturday with 60 staff - 30 to pick and another 30 in the packhouse.

Otago Daily Times reporter Sarah Marquet went to see the picking and packing process.

 

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