New Zealand’s statutory kiwi exporter Zespri has reported sales of over 430,000 tons of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit in 2017. In addition to this total, 14 million trays of Zespri kiwifruit were grown overseas. Sales for the current year are expected to surpass NZ$2 billion, with good prospects for further growth in 2018/19 on the back of strong sales in Japan and China – Zespri’s two largest markets. Indeed, the group has seen sales in Japan rise by 30% over the past four years. Elsewhere, across the rest of Asia, Europe and North America, supply was not sufficient to meet demand last year.
The kiwi industry employs about 18,000 workers in New Zealand and the sector owns about 13,500 hectares of production area. Kiwifruit represents the country’s fastest-growing horticultural export and the Ministry, with exports set to reach NZ$1.8 billion in 2019.