New Zealand luxury cherry exports doubling in 2024

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 21 December 2023

Overview of cherries from New Zealand in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 21, 2023.


New Zealand cherry producer Southern Fruits International is projecting 340 tons of luxury cherries to the global market this summer. This doubles last year’s  volume, as favorable pre-season conditions and  increased production due to tree maturity.

The increase marks the second commercial year on the market for Southern Fruits International’s Beyond-brand cherries, which are produced at two significant orchards spanning about  400 acres in Central Otago.

“We’ve had excellent pre-season interest from existing and developing markets in Asia and new markets in the Middle East and the United States. All the signs are there for a positive season,” says Sharon Kirk, founder and marketing manager.

The company operates a packhouse at Tarras, which opened last season. The packhouse is outfitted with the world’s latest grading and packing technology including advanced sorting and grading solutions, the firm says.

cherry volumes by histor 10

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)


Packhouse infrastructure includes a hydro cooler that chills the fruit to around 41°F for nine to ten minutes. This helps the fruit retain freshness throughout transit.

“Over the past year, we have been developing various markets within the United States and the Middle East. We have expanded our reach in China, Taiwan and Vietnam, and Thailand is emerging as a new market. The Middle East is an exciting market with the opportunity to develop more retail sales in cherry punnets,” Kirk adds.

Harvest is underway for early varieties and is set to continue until late January or early February, depending on weather conditions.


The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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