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Pepino mosaic virus drives availability down

New Zealand: Consumers will pay extra for tomatoes this summer

While tomatoes in New Zealand shops were, on average, $3.99 a kilogram in November 2020, last year they were $6.16 and this week they were selling for $6.49 per kilogram at Countdown and $7.59 at New World.

According to Countdown spokeswoman Kiri Hannifin, tomato prices were “generally higher” this year: “This is being driven by less availability this year. Currently a disease called Pepino mosaic virus (PepMV) is impacting New Zealand growers, this affects how quickly tomatoes grow and the yield in which the plants produce. Due, in part, to the impact of this disease, New Zealand growers have generally planted less tomatoes due to their inability to export. At the same time last year growers had a lot more tomatoes available, but were unable to export them. This led to the New Zealand market having an abundance of tomatoes.”


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