New Zealand apple growers will probably reach $1 billion in exports ahead of their 10-year 2022 target as the industry benefits from higher productivity and rising prices. The apple industry, New Zealand’s second-largest fresh fruit export after kiwifruit, has raised export prices to offset the negative impact of a higher New Zealand dollar on returns, says Gary Jones, business development manager at grower organisation Pipfruit New Zealand. Better access to seasonal staff through a 2008 government scheme has helped orchard owners raise production. New Zealand’s apple industry accounts for a quarter of the southern hemisphere’s fresh apple exports. New Zealand apples sell for a premium over rivals by as much as 20% and sales are benefiting from increased affluence in Asia and better access to markets, Gary says.