International kiwifruit marketer Zespri officially inaugurated its new European headquarters in Berchem, a district of Belgian city Antwerp, last Friday.
The new centre is expected to provide the group with a base to grow its business further in key European markets including the UK, Germany and Spain.
During a special ceremony attended by Zespri CEO Lain Jager and Zespri Europe general manager Luc Clerx, as well as a number of key clients and service providers, members of prominent Maori-owned grower-packer Te Awanui Huka Pak were on hand to bless the new office.
Two intricately carved, wooden statues originally presented by the cooperative to Zespri Europe ten years ago were also rededicated during the ceremony, which concluded with traditional Maori prayers, songs and a haka.
“After 20 productive years in the city centre, the time has come for something bigger,” commented Mr Jager. “The kiwifruit sector has been doing well in recent years and all forecasts show this growth will continue in the future.”
Luc Clerx added: “What used to be a small office has now grown into a fully-fledged enterprise with a respected and well-known product. More and more people are now eating kiwifruit for their delicious taste and high nutritional value.”