Enhancing scientific understanding of the fruit’s journey from orchard to table

Our applied science is designed to bridge gaps in understanding, create value and improve returns for our clients, partners and collaborators.

Our work streams cover on-orchard productivity, cool chain effectiveness and engineering innovation.  These work programs are supported by our fully equipped fruit analysis laboratory.

Start Afresh has specialist expertise in kiwifruit research and has strong connections in the kiwifruit sector. This means that Start Afresh has access to a suite of kiwifruit orchards that enables real world testing of research ideas and products.

Collaboration is key to the way we work. Start Afresh embraces open and collaborative innovation and has a track record of working with partners globally. Talk to us first for insights into applying innovative solutions to kiwifruit orchard production and cool chain management.

Our main workstreams are summarised below:

On Orchard

Our on-orchard team undertakes research trials of innovate new products and techniques to improve orchard productivity.

This research has various objectives including understanding and improving budbreak and flowering dynamics and on-orchard factors influencing plant health and fruit storage performance.

Supply chain

Our research team is focused on post-harvest activities targeted at understanding and improving the quality of fruit and vegetables while in storage and during transit to markets.

The team investigates different storage approaches such as modified atmosphere and ethylene management techniques.

The research is undertaken both in commercial cool stores that  reflect normal packhouse operating conditions and a number of smaller purpose bult cool rooms where proof of concept trials can be undertaken in tightly controlled storage conditions.

Engineering research

Our engineering team looks for innovate approaches to addressing supply chain challenges and enhancing fruit performance.

The team uses NIR technology to gain rapid and non-destructive insights into the internal characteristics of fruit and vegetables, such as Dry matter and sugar content. The team is also exploring the use of AI learning to help improve the efficiency and accuracy of fruit investigation activities.


Start Afresh runs an in-house fruit diagnostic laboratory that undertakes all the fruit analyses required for the research trials and projects.

The lab is equipped with modern diagnostic equipment and has a team of fully trained staff.