The final shipment of this season’s New Zealand kiwifruit export campaign has departed the Port of Tauranga.

Containers, carrying around 735 tonnes of green kiwifruit, are headed for Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore and China. Meanwhile, the final chartered reefer vessel, the Southampton Star, will unload 2,228 tonnes of kiwifruit in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Kobe.

Alastair Hulbert, chief global supply officer of Zespri, said the single desk marketer used 49 chartered reefer vessels and 17,829 refrigerated containers to ship around 157m trays of kiwifruit to more than 50 countries around the world this season.

“We’ve been really fortunate that with the support of the government and our communities we’ve been able to continue to operate and deliver this season’s crop to consumers around the world,” said Hulbert.

“The wider supply chain including frontline staff at the Port of Tauranga have worked incredibly hard to ship our record-breaking harvest this season, and embrace the enhanced safety measures put in place to keep our people and communities safe during New Zealand’s response to Covid-19.”

Zespri shipped over 87m trays of SunGold kiwifruit over the 2020 season, while 70m trays of green kiwifruit were supplied to customers across the globe.

Hulbert said Zespri was now transitioning to fruit from its Northern Hemisphere growing partners in Italy, France, Korea and Japan.

The final shipment of New Zealand-grown fruit is expected to reach all markets by early December.