Further to our previous advice we can update the situation as we know it today:
• General situation
It has been 2 weeks since Cyclone Gabrielle hit the east coast of NZ’s North Island and the full extent of the impact and damage is now becoming clear. NZ Government agencies and various support groups are assisting communities and families that have been affected by severe damage to homes and infrastructure. Many roads and bridges remain affected causing some congestion and will take weeks or months to repair. Electricity, water and communications have reinstated to most regions now. All of our staff are safe and well and we appreciate the enormous support from everyone who has helped both physically and emotionally in this challenging situation.
• Freshco HB Apple Orchard status
Several of our orchards have suffered substantial damage and losses from flood waters, debris and heavy silt deposits - it will be a huge job trying to clean up orchards and properties affected. We have received support from all over NZ from our friends and partners providing trucks, operators, and digger equipment to assist. We estimate overall losses to Freshco Hawkes Bay orchards to be 25-30% of our planned volumes. Fortunately, our remaining orchards suffered minimal damage, so harvest was able to resume fully last week, and the quality of fruit is looking great for export.
• Freshco HB Apple Post-harvest facilities
Full power connection was reinstated to our Post Harvest site last week, with our Coolstores, Frupak Processing facility and Packing line now fully operational. Our whole team in Hawkes Bay has continued to deliver a huge effort and are making really good progress in getting our season back on track despite numerous challenges and obstacles.
• Three Good Men Squash
The floods have seriously impacted all Squash crops in both Hawkes Bay and Gisborne. We estimate the overall damage has resulted in over 60% of our crops being lost. And further heavy rain this week will continue to impact any remaining crops.
Freshco Nelson Apple operations continue operating as normal and all of our growers and partners in Nelson continue to offer support to our team in Hawkes Bay where possible.
We also really appreciate all the kind messages of support and encouragement from our partners both locally and overseas – it means a lot to us all!