This season's perfect growing and harvesting conditions have produced a bumper crop for Hawke's Bay's apple industry, with international markets "screaming out" for New Zealand apples.
Bostock New Zealand director David Brasell said the weather had been outstanding for the harvest and the fruit had sized well, and they were harvesting some of the best quality fruit they had experienced for years.
"The quality of our apples this season is very, very good," he said.
"The colour is great, the fruit is clean and the size is excellent.
"It's been a dry season in Hawke's Bay so we've had a good run. Hot autumn days and recent colder nights have helped colour the apples well."
The Royal Gala harvest has now finished.
Braeburn is currently being harvested and soon Fuji and Granny Smiths will be coming off the trees.
"The pack house is at full speed packing for our main markets across Asia, Europe and the US. We are excited about this year's crop hitting the shelves as I think our consumers will be impressed by the taste," Mr Brasell said.
Pipfruit NZ business development manager Gary Jones said across the industry, apples had been growing even better than they had anticipated. "We had a late start and a cold spring but with the summer conditions, and even into autumn, we've had such fantastic weather, it's been perfect growing conditions," he said.
"We've had some fantastic harvests for the past four or five years, and the quality of the crop has been exceptional for a while now."
Mr Jones said the industry was also shifting into new markets.
"North America is screaming out for fruit, and there are exclusive New Zealand varieties as well which are going very well in Asia.
"The market in New Zealand is exceptionally hot, everyone wants New Zealand apples."
Mr Brasell also said the New Zealand apple industry was establishing strong relationships with the Asian market.
"It's a market that has a clear focus on fruit quality. Our organic apples are in high demand because we grow them naturally, they are GMO Free and we don't use pesticides," he said.
"Demand from our traditional markets in Europe and USA is very strong and we will not be able to satisfy global sales requirements for organic apples.
"There's an amazing buzz in our sunny Hawke's Bay orchards with our 600 staff very busy. We are all working hard to get the apples off the trees and across the world to our customers."
Bostock New Zealand recently opened a state-of-the-art cool store, which is currently at full capacity.
The new facility has the technology and innovation to provide customers with full traceability from the Hawke's Bay orchards to consumers across the world.