Posted on

Zespri, T&G together targetting SE Asia

Disease threatens Italian kiwi

About one million trays of Zespri kiwifruit will be sold in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos in the 2016 season as the first step in a new collaboration between Zespri and T&G. That would make for a nearly 50% increase in Zespri’s Kiwifruit sales in those countries in the 2015 season.

During last week’s Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin, the companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirming their intention to work together to develop market opportunities together to grow export sales.

T&G Global chairman Professor Klaus Josef said both companies are big New Zealand horticultural exporters with strong global brands. Similarly, Zespri Chairman Peter McBride said both are major contributors to the New Zealand economy and offer premium branded products supported by innovative marketing. “This MOU formalises our intentions to look for opportunities to use our respective strengths to grow sales,” McBride said.

“This proactive collaborative marketing partnership will accelerate the growth in kiwifruit sales across a region with huge potential. T&G will develop sales programmes for Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold and T&G products in these four Southeast Asian countries, leveraging the strength of the Zespri brand and marketing strategy with T&G’s existing business expertise, distribution channels and strong product offering,” he said.

T&G branded products such as JAZZTM and ENVYTM apples also to be promoted

Lutz said T&G will open an office in Bangkok to represent and support the companies’ sales programmes. The new team will work together to grow sales of both Zespri and T&G branded products like JAZZTM and ENVYTM apples in the region, with a regional manager already appointed and key account managers appointments to follow.

In a joint press release, the companies aid the collaborative arrangement is the first of its kind to be approved by regulator Kiwifruit NZ (KNZ) and learnings from it will be used to inform future collaborative programmes.

McBride said the recent Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP) consultation with growers heralded a change in direction for Zespri and collaborative marketing. “This has opened the way for Zespri to partner with companies which can offer strong coverage in new or developing regions for Zespri and increase returns to our growers.”

About 1.6 million trays of Zespri Kiwifruit were sold through collaborative marketing in 2015 and about 2.8 million have been provisionally approved for 2016.

About Zespri and T&G

Based in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand, Zespri is the buyer of NZ kiwifruit for export to every country with the exceptions of Australia and collaborative marketing approvals for non-Zespri varieties.

Zespri manages kiwifruit innovation and supply management, distribution management and marketing of Zespri Green, Zespri SunGold, Zespri Organic, Zespri Gold and Zespri Sweet Green Kiwifruit. Its sales revenue for 2014/15 was s of $1.57 billion.

According to the release, T&G Global Ltd is recognised as New Zealand’s leading distributor, marketer and exporter of premium fresh produce. Since 2012, BayWa AG, Munich (Germany) has been its major shareholder.

Along with partner growers, T&G grows fresh produce in over 20 countries, including pipfruit, grapes, citrus, kiwifruit, asparagus, berries, summerfruit and tomatoes. It has a network of over 253,000m2 of storage facilities in New Zealand and a global distribution network covering sales, marketing and logistics.

Photo (supplied): Zespri Chairman Peter McBride (left) and T&G Global Chairman Professor Klaus Josef (right) after signing the MOU at the 2016 Fruit Logistica in Berlin.

Posted on

Kiwifruit, Italy’s ambassador to the world

Kiwifruit are one of the biggest Italian fruit exports and 70% of the crop is grown for foreign markets.

No Italian fruit better embodies the role of Italy’s ambassador to the world than kiwifruit: “Kiwifruit are exported to practically every continent and the export volumes are constantly growing,” said Paolo Bruni, chairman of CSO (Centro Servizi Ortofrutticoli) of Ferrara. Italy plays a decisive part in the world kiwifruit industry. The key factors for this success are optimising volume management, excellent quality and the ability of the companies involved to become international players. The top place is occupied by yellow kiwifruit, in which Italy can boast the primacy in production and also constitutively, with the setting up of the Jingold consortium, and recently also for red kiwifruit, distributed exclusively by the new Origine Group. According to CSO data, Italy as a whole had nearly 24,450 hectares of kiwifruit orchards in production in 2015. The main growing areas are, in this order: Lazio (30%), Piedmont (19%), Emilia-Romagna (15%) and Veneto (14%), though surface areas in the South are expanding.

High quality season

The 2015/16 season will stand out for the extremely high quality of all types of kiwifruit, thanks to the optimum weather conditions this year. The total crop is higher than last year but the markets are also growing, so the greater supplies should not be a cause for concern. After the moderate volumes of 2013/14, growth is being seen in the Middle East, which is returning to similar levels to those of previous years. The decrease in North Africa compared to previous years is moderate (6%). The proportion of Italian kiwifruit earmarked for Australia is also seeing good growth.

Main destinations

EU countries are still the main destination (67%), but the proportion has fallen as exports to more distant areas such as North America (10%), the Far East (7%) and Central and South America (6%) have risen. During the last marketing season Italian kiwifruit exports reached 323,000 tons, a 2% rise on the previous year. The value of these exports exceeded €410 million overall, up by 7% on 2013/14. Almost all the main destinations showed growth (Germany +1%, France +30%, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom +12%), while the volumes shipped to Spain remained constant. Growth in North American sales was again confirmed last season, as this market took almost 32,000 tonnes. The Far East also grew by 11% to nearly 23,000 tons. South American sales rose as well, confirmed at almost 20,000 tons. However, non-EU European countries as a whole saw a sharp fall because of the Russian embargo, which cut overall export volumes by half. 

The Italian ambassador

One of the strong points of this product has surely been supply-side concentration, both worldwide and in Italy. In Italy, where a fragmented supply side has often been one of the main causes of crises in the produce sector, the situation in kiwifruit appears to be much better precisely because the producers of this crop are more united than others. The CSO chairman, Paolo Bruni, spoke of precisely this aspect: “We should not forget that home consumption was rising strongly until a few years ago and is now stable at over 100,000 tons of kiwifruit a year. Nor should we forget the effort that CSO has made over the years, together with governments, regional services and our members, to open up new markets that could become important outlets for our product.” At the moment, the Italian efforts are targeting Japan, a country with decreasing home supplies and a great need for foreign kiwifruit.


Posted on

Summer Kiwi presents MERIS, the green kiwi in perfect shape

MERIS, the new green kiwifruit variety, will be revealed at the Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin at the SUMMERFRUIT stand, Hall 4.2 - C 05.

MERIS, the new green kiwifruit variety, is raising great expectations. Now due for launching in 2016, the first 50,000 plants of this excellent product will soon be marketed in Europe, undoubtedly with great success.

This varietal innovation was discovered in Verona in 2012. The result of a mutation of Hayward, while retaining the elongated shape typical of the variety, it is distinguished by having dry matter one point higher and a harvest period that begins 10 days sooner. The fruit is less acidic and has better dry matter content. Thanks to this combination of factors, MERIS has the best taste qualities around. It also resembles the Hayward in its high productivity and good resistance to cold storage.

Trials are already underway with experimental implants, with marketing of the first MERIS fruits scheduled for 2018.

This excellent fruit, whose harvest begins in mid-October, will be revealed at the Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin at the SUMMERFRUIT stand, Hall 4.2 – C 05.

Posted on

Patent sought for orchard climate control system

Inventors Anibal Schurter and John Warmerdam say their orchard climate control system is especially useful for growing kiwifruit and similarly delicate crops.

Kiwifruit can be grown in most moderate temperature marine type climates with adequate summer heat but growing them away from coastal environments can be challenging. Indeed, efforts to grow some of the most popular varieties of kiwifruit in warmer and drier climates have failed, almost universally, says a patent application recently published by the Word Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Thus comes the invention of a humidity and temperature control system for use in the outdoor cultivation of kiwifruit that features an angled sunshade and various fogging type nozzles.

Inventors Anibal Schurter and John Warmerdam say in the application that their climate control system provides for the efficient and controlled introduction of water vapor into an outdoor orchard. “The system is especially useful when employed in the cultivation of kiwifruit and similarly delicate crops, and serves to substantially reduce stresses from heat and low humidity or arid growing conditions.”

“The coupling of shade control and climate control in an outdoor orchard setting is a development of critical importance to the viable cultivation of delicate, humidity and temperature sensitive fruits, such as the kiwifruit,” they say in the application. They also mention its suitability for other fruit susceptible to damage or stress from temperature and humidity variance outside its nominal growing conditions, such as many varieties of apples and pome fruits in general, and most varieties of cherries and stone fruits.


In a preferred embodiment of the orchard climate control system, as employed in a kiwifruit orchard and shown in Figure 1, kiwifruit vines are planted in a row and supported on a trellis with laterals (as seen in figure 2) which train and support the kiwifruit vines. The trellis helps support the shade structure, the water supply pipe and foggers, the application says.

Posted on

Standards for kiwifruit, ware potatoes, garlic and aubergines on agenda for Codex meeting next month

Draft standards for aubergines, garlic, kiwifruit and ware potatoes are on the agenda at the 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Guerrero, Mexico, October 5–9.

Draft standards for aubergines, garlic, kiwifruit and ware potatoes are on the agenda at the 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Guerrero, Mexico, October 5–9.

And a Codex standard for shallots is also up for discussion at the meeting. That standard has been proposed by Indonesia, which says that, based on FAO data, world production on shallots and onions increased 2.7% per year over 1980-2011.

Read more about the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in our article on its 18th session, held in Thailand in February last year.

image source: “Proposals for new work on fresh fruits and vegetables


Posted on

Chile eyes opportunities for its Hayward kiwifruit in US

chilekiwi karen brux


Last year was a challenging one for Chile’s kiwifruit sector after the frosts of 2013 decimated production volumes.

But according to Chilean Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) marketing director Karen Brux, this year looks very promising, in particular for the country’s Hayward kiwis.

With Zespri now focusing on organic green and yellow kiwi, that opens up a window for Chile in supplying the conventional green ones, the CFFA believes.

Brux said demand for organic kiwis is increasing, which also bodes well for the country’s organic growers.

Brux said marketing of kiwis in the US is increasingly sophisticated. At the same time consumers are hungry for more information about the nutritional qualities and flavours of different fruits and want practical tips on how to incorporate them into their daily diets. This type of information helps drives sales, something that is increasingly important as there was little growth in either fruit consumption in general, or for kiwis in particular, in the US, from 2000–2012.

“Demand for kiwis in the US would be much higher if consumers were offered a good product year, but unfortunately that’s not the case,” she said.

“Chilean growers must follow the correct procedures to produce, harvest and send the fruit at the right time (e.g, not send Hayward kiwi in March when it is still unripe).”

“We have to show both distributors and American consumers that Chile can offer consistently good tasting fruit.”


Read the full interview in Spanish