NZ kiwifruit season draws to a close

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Matthew Jones



NZ kiwifruit season draws to a close

Final shipment made, as Zespri celebrates another record-breaking year for SunGold

NZ kiwifruit season draws to a close

The Asian Lily, last of Zespri’s 67 charter vessels of the season, leaves the Port of Tauranga. Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

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As New Zealand’s kiwifruit export campaign draws to a close, Zespri has announced SunGold shipments have hit 46m trays over 2016, up 68 per cent from last year.

The last of 67 refrigerated charter ships for the season left the Port of Tauranga on Thursday, carrying over 2,000 pallets of green kiwifruit, headed for the ports of Tokyo and Kobe in Japan.

Zespri chief operating officer Simon Limmer said the season had not been without its challenges, but the industry had worked hard to deliver another strong result.

“The industry’s investment in infrastructure has meant that the increased SunGold volumes have been processed well this season,” Limmer explained.

In addition to the 46m trays of SunGold, Zespri’s forecast volumes for the 2016 New Zealand season put green kiwifruit shipments at 80m trays, while organic green is at 3.8m trays.

Zespri will now turn its attention to its Northern Hemisphere supply programme, which comes into play over the few months of the year when New Zealand-grown kiwifruit is not available.

“Zespri’s in-market teams are driving sales for the last few weeks of the New Zealand sales season and the first sales of our Northern Hemisphere-grown SunGold are underway in Europe, with product on the water to Asia,” Limmer adds.

Around 10.5m trays of green and 6m trays of gold (SunGold and Gold) are expected to be supplied from Zespri’s Northern Hemisphere orchards this season.

Limmer said Zespri was on track to more than double its sales revenue from nearly NZ$2bn last season to NZ$4.5bn by 2025.

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