We rounded up the Pink Lady® network to find out how COVID-19 has impacted operations, and how they have adapted to the global crisis.
“In our case, to publicize the Pink Lady® apple, tasting is very important, mainly promoting in supermarkets and going to different events with our stand. Due to the social distancing that we have had to take, we had to make a drastic change and use Instagram as our main diffusion tool. We are working with local influencers: chefs, nutritionists, dermatologists, athletes, among others. They upload recipes, tips and interesting or entertaining information, which allows us to have great material to post. Also doing many contests associated with other brands, which has given excellent results as well.”
- Catalina Hiribarren, Pink Lady® Chile
“COVID-19 has brought challenging times to agriculture in the US. The growing of our apples has not had any significant impact; however, precautionary procedures, PPE and costs have had great impact. In order to keep farm workers safe, spacing on transportation, at lunch tables, masks, gloves, dividers in work areas, face shields, etc all have been deployed. With labor shortages, fear of contracting the virus in any workplace and a few who have chosen to stay out, this has required employers to realign work flow. The bottom line though, the US Apple Industry are growing, packing and shipping superior quality Pink Lady® apples everywhere domestically and exporting across the globe. For more information: pinkladyamerica.org.”
- Kathryn Grandy, Provar Management
“The first UK TV advertising campaign launched in June giving Pink Lady® sales for the month an extra boost. Sales were up 16% on the same month last year. We’ve also seen improved brand awareness figures increasing from 83%, before the new TV advertising campaign, up 87% post TV. Investment in marketing and adapting plans to focus on digital output has allowed us to connect with our consumers throughout lockdown. Watch the videos here.”
- Kyla Flynn, Pink Lady® U.K
“COVID-19 restrictions hit New Zealand just prior to harvest, our government locked down the whole country, only allowing essential businesses to continue to operate if they could prove they were able to under strict social distancing and Health & Safety conditions. Our growers & packhouses were able to continue harvest, packing, & shipping right through lockdown, many operating at a lower capacity. We have been COVID-19 free and operating as usual for a few months. We understand that demand in export markets has been steady, however there have been some logistics challenges throughout the supply chain so our exporters are having to be agile with their programmes this season.”
- Sophie Griffith, Pink Lady® Apples New Zealand
“South Africa is accelerating towards the peak of the pandemic with lockdown level 3 regulations in place. Our apple industry saw an increase in all apple exports from the middle of June, compared to previous weeks where the implications of COVID-19 caused logistical complications such as port delays. Apart from these problems the South African industry managed to continue operations and adjust to the challenges they have to face.
With regard to Pink Lady®, the season is looking good, with much bigger volumes exported to our major markets, the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa compared to this time last year.”
- Liza Matthews, Marketing Manager, Top Fruit
“Pink Lady’s headquarters are based in Melbourne which has been the city hit hardest by COVID-19 in Australia, with lockdown restrictions still very much in place even as the rest of the country begins to ease their way out of restrictions. Growers in all Australia have largely managed to adapt their picking and packing to meet the social distancing measures.”
- Apple and Pear Australia Limited