Two of Hawke's Bay's biggest growers are sharing new coolstores as the industry looks to continue double-digit growth.
Bostock New Zealand and Mr Apple yesterday officially opened a 8600sq m coolstore near Flaxmere which can store 30,000 bins, and plan to build another. Bostock owner John Bostock said the local industry could use 10 more.
"I have just returned from China and our future is absolutely amazing," he said. "In terms of fruit there is going to be double-digit growth - there is no doubt about it. The Chinese really appreciate what we have - they appreciate our colour, taste and above all the image of New Zealand."
Traceability brought higher prices "from customers who are assured their apples are being grown naturally in pure Hawke's Bay".
The new coolstore facility, which has the region's largest single-rooms coolstore and a stage two planned, is a "state-of-the-art facility" providing full traceability.
Mr Apple chief executive Andrew Van Workum said the two companies had worked together "for years" and were strengthening sales networks, especially into Asia.
"It's a market that has a very clear focus on fruit quality, the appearance and the eating experience of the apple and they are prepared to pay a good price for very good quality apples," he said.
"This sort of infrastructure is essential in locking in that quality that we've spent all year growing."
Mr Apple is the region's biggest apple grower and exporter, shipping millions of apples to 40 countries.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule cut a ribbon at the facility.