Robots are running the world's first fully-automated kiwifruit cool store in Te Puke.

EastPack invested $10 million into the Quarry Rd cool store which has two state-of-the-art robots - and was officially blessed by kaumatua, yesterday.

Chief executive Hamish Simson said it was a world first and others in the kiwifruit industry were keeping watch.

''We are very much pioneering it for the other people in the industry. They are looking because they are under the same pressure as us.''


He estimated the company would pack 38 million trays this season compared to 41 million last season and rapidly rising