This year's first shipments of New Zealand kiwifruit to the EU arrived in Zeebrugge and Tarragona last week, 10 days earlier than last year, heralding the earliest-ever start to the season for international marketer Zespri's New Zealand campaign in Europe. Fruit quality is reported to be "exceeding expectations", while the size profile is set to be slightly bigger than last year.
Welcoming the Star Quality after it completed its 22-day maiden voyage to the Port of Zeebrugge, where 80 per cent of this season's volumes will come ashore, Zespri Europe general manager Luc Clerx told Newsline the company expected to market a total of 51m tonnes of Green and Gold kiwifruit from New Zealand to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with around 100m trays of Class I and II of the fruit to be sold worldwide.
"We are now finalising a very strong advertising and marketing campaign for Green and Gold in key European markets, including a new commercial for Zespri Green," he revealed. Zespri also confirmed it has signed a new deal enabling it to run its facilities at the Port of Zeebrugge on 'green' energy generated from Alpine water turbines.