Marlborough losses affecting market

Matthew Ryley, of Earnscleugh, yesterday displays some freshly picked cherries grown on the H. and J. Roberts orchard at Earnscleugh. Photo by Sarah Harvey.
Matthew Ryley, of Earnscleugh, yesterday displays some freshly picked cherries grown on the H. and J. Roberts orchard at Earnscleugh. Photo by Sarah Harvey.
Despite the recent rain, Central Otago cherry growers are confident their crops will be all right, although they say the market has tightened due to Marlborough orchardists losing fruit after persistent rain.

"When the cherry is wet and the sun hits it then the pores open and water pours in and the fruit cracks," Cromwell grower Jack Peszynski said.

"We were lucky, we had a little rain but with the cold weather there is nothing for us to worry about ... with the cold, the pores are closed."

Earnscleugh-based Summerfruit Orchards general manager Ian Nicholls said "it wasn't too wet and it was windy so there will be very minimal damage, if any".

Harry Roberts, another Earnscleugh grower, said there were signs that some of his fruit might have "cracks".

"But we are hoping it won't come to anything."

The men all said the fruit losses faced by Marlborough growers had "tightened" the market.

Mr Peszynski said he understood cherries were now in short supply and he had stopped taking orders as he had "totally sold out".

He said he felt sorry for those growers, and because their cherries were destined for domestic markets while fruit from Central Otago was aimed for exports, cheap cherries for Christmas were "not going to happen".

 

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