John Bostock with Posy Organic Apples destined for China

New Zealand’s first organic apples are in high demand in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Organic apple producer Bostock New Zealand has airfreighted its largest ever shipment of organic apples to China as Chinese consumers avoid local wholesalers and wet markets.

The apples are Posy organic apples and have been bred specifically for the Asia market.

Bostock New Zealand owner John Bostock says the situation in China is devastating.

“Chinese consumers aren’t going out to the wet market or wholesale markets to buy their fruit as they avoid crowded public places. They are buying it from trusted retailers where hygiene is better assured and many of these trusted retailers are our customers.

“There has also been a significant increase in online sales for fresh produce as consumers look to have groceries delivered to their homes, so they don’t have to step outside.”

A crisis like this sees Chinese consumers turn to organic food as they believe it is safer says Bostock international trader, Jane Maclean.

“New Zealand is a trusted source in a situation which is unfolding like this. Organics create another layer of trust for the Chinese consumer.

“Logistically it’s becoming difficult to buy fresh produce in China as the wholesale markets have shut down. Retail is still strong, and in fact more retailers are reporting increased sales as a result of the current situation, but they need to source their produce from somewhere and New Zealand is an attractive option for the high-end retailers.”

Bostock New Zealand airfreighted two pallets of Posy apples last season, but this season it has several pallets arriving by air and many more containers will follow by sea.

This is the second year Bostock New Zealand has had significant volumes of Posy apples to export.

“We are also adding value by creating a brand for this apple and supporting it with a lot of marketing material for our customers. This came off the back of a very successful season in China last year,” says Ms Maclean.