The Asian Adonis will set sail from the Port of Tauranga for Shanghai tomorrow (24 March), carrying the first export consignment of New Zealand kiwifruit for the 2017 season.
Loaded with some 840,000 trays of premium SunGold fruit, the Adonis’ voyage signals somewhat of a break from tradition. For many years, single-desk marketer Zespri has shipped the first consignment of New Zealand kiwifruit to Japan.
“This marks the increasing importance of the China market for the industry, with China and Japan now our two largest markets in the world,” said Zespri president of global sales & marketing Dan Mathieson.
In another first for the industry, almost all of Zespri’s Northern European charter shipments will be completed via Seatrade’s new Colour Class ships. Zespri said the specialised reefer container vessels would provide more “flexibility and improved performance.”
Zespri will run sales and marketing programmes in 59 countries this year, with the company projecting continued growth in SunGold volumes, although green volumes are likely to be down somewhat on last year’s record crop.
“We’re looking at the second-largest overall crop in our history and fruit is sizing well on the vines heading into harvest, with good taste levels,” said Zespri chief operating officer Simon Limmer.
“The New Zealand kiwifruit industry is coming together to deliver another great season for our customers – the anniversary of 20 years of delivering premium fruit in a Zespri box around the world.”