New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri has scooped two awards at the HSBC New Zealand-China Trade Association (NZCTA) awards.
Zespri won the HSBC Supreme China Business Award as well as the NZTE Excellence in Export or Import prize at the award ceremony in Auckland on 31 May.
Simon Limmer, Zespri chief operating officer, said they were incredibly proud of winning the awards.
“We’re delighted we can go back to our growers and tell them our sales strategy in China is thriving,” said Limmer. “Our forecasts this season suggest China could overtake Japan as our biggest market for kiwifruit and the potential for further growth is extraordinary but none of this could have been achieved without a lot of hard work and strong vision.”
While Zespri has been exporting kiwifruit to China for more than a decade, the past three seasons have seen sales volumes more than double to NZ$400m, the company said in a statement released 1 June.
Limmer said the growth in sales to China has been a result of Zespri signing e-commerce and Importer of Record agreements, and working more closely with larger, quality-focused retail customers.
“[Becoming the Importer of Record in China] gives us more flexibility and responsiveness in China and lets us develop those connections with retailers and online consumers,” Limmer said, adding that its business model in China now mirrors the model Zespri uses in Japan and major European markets.
In the past year, China’s Fruitday also became the first e-tailer to buy directly from Zespri, while leading e-tailer JD.com established its flagship Zespri Kiwifruit store to service its 225m customers.
The NZCTA awards were established in 2004 to celebrate successful business or investment relationships between companies in New Zealand and China.