Kiwifruit Vine zespri

Zespri has announced its 2020/21 Northern Hemisphere harvest earned a record NZ$472m (US$333m) on the back of a jump in production.

Total sales fromItaly, France, Greece, Japan and Korea were up 28 per cent year-on-year from NZ$369m (US$261m) in 2019/20.

Alastair Hulbert, chief global supply officer of Zespri, said the crop is now all sold, with significant increases in both the green and gold volumes.

Zespri SunGold volumes increased by almost 3m trays, or 27 per cent, and Zespri Green by almost 2m trays, or 23 per cent.

“Northern Hemisphere fruit is key to Zespri’s 12-month global supply strategy,” said Hulbert.

“We aim to have Zespri Kiwifruit in the market for 12 months of the year, maximising value of the brand and meeting consumer demand, and we are well on our way to achieving that goal.”

Procurement of green kiwifruit increased in the 2020/21 season, from 8.1m trays to 10m trays. Fruit from Greece made a significant contribution, adding to the large volumes procured through Zespri’s long-term relationships with Italian growers. Production of Zespri SunGold kiwifruit grew across Europe and Asia as new plantings came into production.

In Japan, production increased in volume for the first time since 2014, this was attributable to Zespri SunGold overtaking Hort16a as the dominant variety. Hort16a has been largely phased out around the world as it is vulnerable to the vine-killing disease Psa.

Hulbert said in Korea, increased yields and packouts will combine with new plantings to double Zespri SunGold kiwifruit sales over the next three years.

Trials continue in Greece and the US to determine whether these regions can further supplement the Northern Hemisphere supply of Zespri SunGold and to mitigate production risks such as pests, disease, and climate events.

“As we bridge the gap between demand and supply, we expect Zespri Global Supply to continue to grow the contribution it makes to Zespri’s corporate profit, acknowledging short term headwinds are expected related to Italian frost impacted volumes and foreign exchange rates,” said Hulbert.